It took construction workers building the 196 Street overpass just two hours to install the steel girders that will carry cars and trucks over the busy railway tracks of the Roberts Banks rail corridor.
The span went up Dec. 11.
The installation was “extremely well planned and organized,” said Ken Zondervan, design and construction manager for the city of Surrey.
The next big milestone for the project will take place the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 22, when steel girders are scheduled to go up across the Langley Bypass.
Traffic on the Bypass will be shut down for a few hours late that night while the span is installed.
The more expensive steel allows longer, thinner girders than the concrete spans that make up the rest of the overpass, Zondervan explained.
The specially treated steel requires no more maintenance than concrete, he added.
Zondervan said work on on the other elements of the 196 Street overpass are going well.
“It’s on or slightly ahead of schedule”
The same applies to the related 54 Avenue project, which is on schedule or slightly ahead, with pile-driving well under way, Zondervan said.
But work on the 192 Street span is slightly behind schedule because the relocation of gas and electrical lines was delayed.
The three overpasses in Langley are known as the “combo” project that will connect 192 Street south of the tracks to 196 Street near Willowbrook Shopping Centre.
There are currently about 18 trains a day using the corridor, which connects the Roberts Bank port to the Canadian rail network.
Planners estimate the number could eventually climb to 38 trains a day, with many as long as 4,000 metres.
The number of trucks and cars trying to cross the tracks is also expected to go up.
Currently, the 54 at-grade road crossings along the corridor handle 340,000 vehicles per day.
That number is expected to grow to 560,000 by 2021.
Part of the project in Langley will be an advanced train warning system with flashing signs that let drivers know that if they stay on a certain road, they will be stopped by a train.
That allows traffic to detour to other routes with overpasses.
Work is also progressing on two other overpasses in Langley that are part of the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor project, which is funded by the federal, provincial and municipal governments, along with TransLink, Port Metro Vancouver and four railway companies.
Sand has been preloaded along Mufford Crescent and Highway 10 (Glover Road) for the Mufford overpass project, and clearing work has begun on the 232 Street overpass, just north of Highway 1. That overpass is being built to allow for an extension of the Rawlison rail siding, which will cross 232 Street. Trains will be parked there on occasion to wait for trains travelling in the other direction, prompting the need for an overpass.
Another lengthened rail siding is just being completed on the rail line in Cloverdale, and now crosses 184 Street. However, it is not expected that trains will be sitting on the portion of the siding that actually crosses the street.