South Fraser Perimeter Road downgrades confirmed by News 1130 reporter, Dave White

Well well well… looks like my sources are correct – again!

I reported back in April of this year, that significant scope changes had been made to the initial proposal for the SFPR,  and talked about that again in August when the revised consortium signed a deal with the province – and sure enough, that information was confirmed today by News 1130 reported, Dave White. ( this fellow has ” the” nose for news – kudo’s to him on this)

Dave just emailed me this story:

Downgrades to South Fraser Perimeter Road project

Project already millions over budget and behind schedule

Dave White Oct 08, 2010 11:53:15 AM

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DELTA (NEWS1130) – It’s already million of dollars over budget and a year behind schedule. But now, News1130 has learned there are major downgrades to the South Fraser Perimeter Road project.

Delta’s engineering department tells us the planned freeway route was scrapped in favor of a stop-and-go highway controlled by traffic signals.

Councillor Anne Peterson says,  “It is touted by the province that it’s good for the environment because you don’t have trucks sitting or traveling through neighbourhood roads and sitting at lights… It was promoted as a means of saving money for truck companies and industries.”

Peterson says Delta learned the highway will be upgraded when the traffic volume is there, and she’s been told congestion will be bad on opening day.

In August, Transportation Minister Shirley Bond told us there were no plans to scrap interchanges. “We have had to make some adjustments in the project timeline, but the project is moving forward as aggressively as we can.”

Good God. Has Shirley Bond no shame? None whatsoever? Does she kiss her grandbabies with the same mouth that spouts this nonsense?

The gig is up.

 The SFPR will never be upgraded because it simply becomes redundant when the Panama Canal expansion opens, eliminating the need for many eastern shipping companies to offload here and truck or rail their cargo across the country at great cost. Not to mention there is already a surplus of port space along the west coast of North American, with some ports relatively idle, which would make the Deltaport expansion and SFPR a costly exercise in political influence and cronyism, nothing more.

There simply is not enough money floating around to finish all these transportation projects as planned, and so  these kind of scope changes are inevitable. At this point the province would be on the hook for potentially billions in legal awards and costs if the plan was scrapped, so move ahead they must, making changes to save money as they go, and tell everyone it was planned all along.

BC Liberals. Spending your future, NOW.

10 thoughts on “South Fraser Perimeter Road downgrades confirmed by News 1130 reporter, Dave White

  1. Laila

    This just in, from Dave:

    Apparently, Delta also forwarded concerns to ICBC ( congestion because of these changes will be significant) – ICBC is unable to comment yet, but spokesperson Adam Grossman says intersections, especially those involving high speed traffic, can be much more tricky.

    He also says 40 per cent of accidents in B-C happen at intersections.
    – AND –
    He says they’ll be working with Delta to see what improvements to the road can be made.
    But has no specific recommendations as of yet.

    The story becomes more shameful by the moment. Promised an efficient highway we did not – do not – need, only to have it become yet another congested, stop and start roadway that looks to be a potential landmine for accidents involving rigs.

    Stop the insanity – now.

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  2. Todd

    Aha. But the media story is already about two days old as it has been reported in the Delta Optimist newspaper:

    http://www.delta-optimist.com/news/highway+intersections+worrisome/3631615/story.html

    Delta has known about the scope changes for a few months.

    The scope changes in Delta are:

    1. 80th St. (Tilbury interchange) now an intersection albeit pre-load has been done for conversion to full movement interchange when traffic warrants;

    2. Sunbury interchange now an intersection (Hwy 91/Nordel Way) and ditto above;

    The scope changes in Surrey:

    1. SFPR/GEW/104th interchange now an intersection;

    Those scope changes are off the top of my head and represent ~5% – 10% of total project cost.

    The SFPR is still ‘expressway standard”, which permits easy conversion to ‘freeway standard’. At least it’s not an ‘arterial standard” highway.

    Laila, I continue to disagree with your contention that the SFPR is not required and here are some reasons:

    1. Hwy 99, Hwy 91, and Hwy 1 are not yet connected by a free-flow highway. In any other jurisdiction, such a link would have been built decades ago;

    2. The SFPR will act as a ‘toll-free’ relief valve for the Port Mann and Pattullo Bridges permitting Hwy 1 and Hwy 99A users quick access to the toll free Alex Fraser Bridge;

    3. The SFPR has many commercial nodes along its length including:
    a) Roberts Bank Superport;
    b) Tilbury Industrial Park;
    c) The Surrey Fraser Terminal;
    d) Future conversion of Pattullo bridgehead industrial brownfields into Class A industrial parks;
    e) CN’s inter-modal facility at eastern end of SFPR;

    4. The SFPR will be the preferred route from Hwy 1 (and vice versa) for access to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, YVR, and the municipalities of Delta, North Surrey, Richmond, and South Vancouver representing considerable intra-regional traffic;

    I don’t doubt that the SFPR will achieve its traffic projections over the next decade. It’s being built at the outset “expressway standard” akin to Hwy 91/91A in the late 1980’s, which included many signalized intersections – later converted to interchanges.

    That’s what we are seeing here with the SFPR but it sure would be nice and prudent for the SFPR to be constructed ‘freeway standard’ from the outset.

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  3. susan hodges

    They merely had to widen Hwy 17 or use electric rail or barge. This is industrializing the fertile farmlands of South Delta for train marshalling yards, warehouses, impact or wipe out 3 species at risk, specifically, the red-back vole, the Pacific Shrew and the Burns Bog Sandhill Cranes which the freeway separates from its feeding area. It also transgresses against the vitality of Burns Bog while displacing its hydrology. Who builds a freeway through bog lands? Bog lands don’t respect lines drawn on any map. This is about moving industry out of Vancouver, to Delta, for huge bucks to developers for about a profit of 900,000. per acre after conversion. To say nothing of the social injustice to all the families in Sunbury that have had to lose their homes for this monstrous freeway and some seniors who have recently passed away since being forced to move. It runs near Bridgeview Elementary school and will increase asthmas and has degraded the neighbourhood. It transgresses against St. Mungo and Glenrose Cannery 9,000 year old archaeology sites (nearly 3X as old as pyramids) and ruins well over 110 riparian waterways. This is not even about transportation. Its about changing vancouver’s Industrial lands to residential and Delta’s farmlands to industrial for which the government’s bought up many farms at huge costs. Just wait and see all the big box warehouses coming on to farmland. It needs to be stopped and can be stopped.

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  4. Laila

    Todd, tip off the hat to the delta reporter, however, News 1130 reporter Dave White has been working on this story for a long time- I’ve been in contact with him along the way.

    I find your reasoning in favour of the SFPR clinical at best. First of all, the concept and selling point of this road by the government was to move trucks away from residential roads, and facilitate trade with Asia. I say you can take the nice PR ” trucks out of residential areas” portion because 1- it isn’t true- the SFPR runs right through residential areas that would still be greatly affected by increased large vehicle traffic noise and emissions. AND 2- this road was never about getting trucks off residential and city roads, it was always about money. Making more of it and making it faster.

    Using the SFPR as a relief valve, untolled in lieu of the Port Mann is unacceptable in terms of distance and driving for many commuters who will simply have to backtrack once over the river, causing more traffic chaos in the process. I find the suggestion quite ridiculous, personally knowing many people who work right over the Port Mann. For those people working in Coquitlam, Port Moody and surrounding areas, travelling to the Alex Fraser and then over and back again… well, doesn’t seem like a decent alternative to me.

    The SFPR is not and will not be the preferred route to ferries, because of the truck traffic. Currently most people take Highway 10 from the valley to the ferries, I cant see that changing.

    I can’t stand seeing this road going over some of the best farmland in BC. Really. And for what? Skewed political priorities decided by men who don’t live in the area, and really don’t give a damn about anything but their bottom line, and the kickbacks and perks that come their way along the process.

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  5. zweisystem

    The same thing was done with the Canada Line. As cost spiraled out of control, the scope of the projected was greatly reduced.

    For about $2.5 billion, the public got a pygmy mini-metro that, as built, has less potential capacity of a light rail system costing one third to build!

    Gateway was/is nothing more than the government agenda to get lands out of the ALR.

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  6. Pingback: BC Liberals pat themselves on the back over SFPR ‘highway’ opening a year late and $464 million over budget | No Strings Attached : Laila Yuile on politics and life in B.C.

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