South Fraser Perimeter Road announcement scheduled today – no public access allowed.

******Update: See the following story on my home page here: https://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2009/01/12/prime-minister-stephen-harperpremier-gordon-campbell-and-stockwell-day-offically-launch-construction-on-south-fraser-perimeter-road/ *********

Gordon Campbell, Kevin Falcon, and Federal reps will be making an “announcement about the South Fraser Perimeter Road” at the Surrey Fraser Docks.This announcement may concern new Federal funding for the SFPR, but interestingly enough, the announcement will take place behind the fence on Port property, so public access can be controlled. Does the Premier fear the reaction of local residents?

Part of the  very contentious Gateway Project, the South Fraser Perimeter Road has been a thorn in the sides of Surrey/Delta residents since the conceptual plans for Gateway were first introduced.

The Project is a massive old-school highway-expansion plan being launched by the BC Government, spearheaded by Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon

Key points of the scheme are
-twinning of the Port Mann Bridge
-Expansion of Highway One to eight lanes between Langley and East Vancouver
-construction of North and South Perimeter Roads through Delta, Langley, Richmond and Surrey
– massive reconstruction and enlargement of the Delta shipping port

The Gateway Project is expected to cost approx. $10 billion, and there has been virtually no meaningful public consultation on this project, nor have any environmental assessments been completed. The Province has announced plans to “streamline” the environmental assessment process in order to break ground on target.

Full details from the BG governments provincial website can be found at http://www.gatewayprogram.bc.ca/

Interestingly however, to date, Gateway has found its most vocal opposition south of the Fraser, where residents are outraged by the threatened expropriation of our most fertile farmland and the tragic impact of highway-building and port expansion on the rare ecosystems of Burns Bog and the Fraser estuary, including the orca pods of the Georgia Straight. This map shows exactly where expansions are planned:

The project is being touted as a “solution to traffic congestion,” although every traffic planner knows there is NO evidence to support this approach. All evidence proves that increasing road capacity does not decrease congestion – in fact, it makes it worse.

In fact,  Gateway was never intended to ease commuter traffic – it was conceived to move goods, not people. It’s true intent is to facilitate trade with Asia. The appeal to local drivers is a simple ploy to garner votes. Sound familiar?  ” Let’s entice and appease the locals to get what we want…”

Regardless of content , todays announcement will  surely have an impact on the lives of those who inhabit the areas where  road construction is planned. Let your voice be heard by local politicians, today between  ONE and TWO pm, at the Surrey Fraser Docks on Elevator Road. Google map

For more information, check out http://www.gatewaysucks.org/  , the source of the above information.