The closure of a small section of 192 Street in Surrey has the potential to create big headaches for drivers in the City of Langley.
That was the concern expressed by members of Langley City council on Monday night, as they complained of a lack of signage along 200 Street in the City, notifying drivers that the major north-south corridor just across the Surrey border is closed between 56 Avenue and Colebrook Road and will remain inaccessible for a full 10 weeks.
The closure comes as crews work on the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor “combo package” which includes the construction of three railway overpasses along Surrey’s eastern edge, where it borders Langley City.
During that time, traffic which regularly uses the road — including large trucks — will be forced to take alternate routes, with many likely to head east to 200 Street, which is a designated truck route.
By Monday morning, May 6, the first day of the closure, traffic was already snarled along a section of 200 Street, said Councillor Ted Schaffer.
“There was no signage on 200 Street, coming south, advising that 192 Street is closed,” said Shaffer.
Drivers travelling east to west were having to turn onto busy 200 Street, backing traffic up for a full block, he noted.
“I would look at that area and put signage on 200 Street. It disturbs me very much that it’s a major arterial closure and there is no signage.”
City engineer Gary Vlieg told council the municipality’s concerns had already been passed along to the contractor and he expected the problem would be addressed within the week.
He added that signage at 32 Avenue — a main east-west road — pointed traffic away from 192 Street, toward either 200 Street or Highway 15.
“Both are viable,” said Vlieg, adding “It takes a few days for traffic to settle down and find an alternate route.”
The City had traffic counters on 200 Street the following day to assess the impact of the road closure, and the contractor had been asked to put up signs, said Francis Cheung, the City’s Chief Administrative Officer, on Tuesday.
“Most of us were surprised about the closure and the length of the closure,” said Mayor Peter Fassbender.
He said the City would appreciate “anything they can do to direct vehicles to a more appropriate route … Highway 15 is the more likely route for trucks.
“They can give (drivers) both options, but I prefer the other option.”
Fassbender added that he’d like to see the scheduled reopening of the road moved up, even if it’s by one week.
“Any day (192 Street) is not closed is a significant benefit to our community.”