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Detours, delays and downturn as RapidBus work continues on Surrey-Delta divide

Scott Road has been a construction zone for several months
Peter Foreman outside his Integra auto shop on Scott Road, being revamped to pave the way for TransLink’s RapidBus service. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

As the reconstruction of Scott Road drags on, Peter Foreman’s sales have dropped off.

He runs the Integra Tire Auto Centre in the 8200-block of 120 St., where TransLink wants to launch RapidBus service by early 2024.

Work to build new lanes and islands has meant lane closures and pylons at every turn.

Business owners on the street are as frustrated as motorists caught in traffic jams.

“We’re massively down for September (business) over last year,” Foreman said. “So overall, over the past two months, it’s around 33 per cent down over last year — August and September of last year compared to this year.

“We noticed it right away when they started this, and it’s been pretty much all year, since March or something,” he added.

The R6 bus aims to bring “fast and reliable service to the Scott Road corridor,” according to a letter addressed to residents.

“This work will result in fast and more reliable journeys for transit customers, more accessible sidewalk space to get on and off the bus, and improved safety for all road users on the corridor.”

TransLink has tracked 30,000 bus boardings weekdays along the Scott Road corridor, where the new R6 project is designed to make for faster travel between Scott Road Station and Newton Exchange.

And so the work continues.

“Starting Sept. 18,” the letter says, “we will be commencing work on the east side of 80 to 84 Avenue. During this time, the curb lane will be closed for construction, and sidewalk access will be limited. This work is expected to be completed around mid-November.”

According to a Sept. 26 post on TransLink’s Buzzer blog, the R6 project is now 65 per cent complete.

Construction work typically ends at around 5 p.m., weekdays and weekends.

Foreman wonders why the work can’t be done during evening hours, and he’s not alone.

“The frustrating thing is, this wouldn’t affect anybody at night when not many of these businesses are open,” he noted. “So maybe they should be doing the work at night so we can still operate our business during the day.”

Last week when pylons were set up, blocking the entrance to the auto shop’s parking lot, Foreman posted about it on a Facebook community page in North Delta.

”That was for a few hours,” he said, “and the thing is, technically we do have access from the back driveway here, but nobody really knows about that. They (work crews) have to come back and close it off again to pour the concrete, so that’ll be another day probably.”

Moving forward, due to a new island installed on a previously empty “suicide” lane in the middle of 120 Street, drivers can no longer turn left into the auto shop driveway from the Delta side, heading south.

“We just opened this place in March of 2022, last year,” Foreman noted. “We took over the existing place and re-branded. I did look at the OCP so I knew what was happening with Surrey and Delta, but this is a TransLink project that I didn’t know about back then. I’ll take some blame for not really checking it out.

“And I’m all for transit and improvements like this, people need to get around, but right now this is just frustrating.”

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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