Fern Crescent, the winding road with towering trees and scenic canopy that leads to one of the busiest provincial parks in B.C., is slated for straightening.
Maple Ridge municipal engineer David Pollock said city staff will design a route that allows better traffic flow, while trying to keep as many of the stately trees that line the route as possible.
He noted some of the trees trespass onto the roadway, and their bark is scarred from being sideswiped by passing vehicles.
“There are some challenges in the alignment of the road and some trees,” he said.
It is also considered part of the city’s major road network, and Golden Ears Provincial Park has become extremely popular, attracting more than 600,000 visitors per year.
The section of road that will be re-aligned runs from 132 Avenue, at the Eagles Hall, to 236th Street – the winding section – and coincides with funding from TransLink, which recently added bus routes in Silver Valley.
There will also be a multi-use pathway along the route, but it will not have to parallel the road exactly, said Pollock.
He added that the city will come up with a design, and consult with the community about the plan. He allowed that “there’s an ambiance” driving the route, that might be lost if too many trees are taken out.
Fern Crescent passes Maple Ridge Park, Cross’s Cabin Park and ultimately becomes the Golden Ears Parkway.
TransLink announced 51 capital projects across the region that it will fund for a combined $23 million in 2017, to improve road, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, and reduce congestion across Metro Vancouver.
The Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows communities will be funded for $1.5 million.
• $609,000 for Fern Crescent improvements, including road realignment and construction of a new wide multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists, and intersection improvements will include the addition of turning bays at Fern Crescent and 236 Street;
• $250,000 for construction of new two-directional separated bike lanes on 232 St.;
• $217,000 for a River Road improvements, which include a road widening, new sidewalks and streetlight installation at the Port Haney West Coast Express Station;
• $180,000 for construction of shoulder bike lanes on Neaves and Rannie Road in Pitt Meadows.
This investment is a key part of the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation and further investments will come in 2018 and 2019, according to Metro Vancouver.
Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read said TransLink is reinstating funding for infrastructure projects, and another priority for the city will be creating four lanes on the approach to the Golden Ears Bridge.