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New B.C. road includes $88 million for environmental and agricultural mitigation

A 40-kilometre long new highway along the south side of the Fraser River near Vancouver will be built by the F...


A 40-kilometre long new highway along the south side of the Fraser River near Vancouver will be built by the Fraser Transportation Group. The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced last week that the group had been awarded a fixed price contract to design, build, finance and operate the South Fraser Perimeter Road for a term of 20 years.
Ledcor is a major player in the Fraser Transportation Group, acting as one of the equity partners and concessionaires, and as a design-build contractor. Others in the group include ACS Infrastructure, Dragados Canada, Belpacific Excavating and Shoring, and Vancouver Pile Driving.
Carried out as part of the province’s Gateway Program, the construction work is to cost $658 million, with $363 million coming from the federal Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor program.
The road will be a four-lane, divided highway that will extend through Delta and Surrey, southeast of Vancouver. It begins at Highway 17 and Deltaport Way and connects to Highways 1, 91 and 99 and Translink’s new Golden Ears Bridge. The intention is to ease traffic on municipal streets, including reducing the number of vehicles travelling residential River Road in North Delta by 80 per cent, as well as easing traffic going to the Delta landfill.
Environmental and agricultural mitigation measures are such a major part of the project that the Ministry has had to increase the budget for these measures by $57 million to $88 million. The government says it found an extra $37 million for the project “from savings realized from other ministry capital projects.”
To ease the impacts on the local farmers, the project is to provide millions of dollars in benefits for 6,000 hectares of farmland. The funding is for topsoil conservation, local road enhancements and $18 million for irrigation, flood control and drainage system improvements.
Millions of dollars from the project are also allocated for environmental enhancements to improve fisheries and wildlife habitat. These include $10 million to work with the Burns Bog Management committee to improve the bog’s water levels and water quality. There is also $19 million earmarked to remediate contaminated sites and close landfills, and $26 million for fisheries and wildlife, including the construction of new Alex Fraser tidal wetlands as a fish nursery and construction of a marsh at the Manson Canal tidal wetland.