SFPR on schedule for 2013 completion
The South Fraser Perimeter Road is on schedule to open to traffic next year, at which point all of the now under construction points through South Delta will be driver ready.
"Basically 36th Avenue at 64th Street and the 28th Avenue agricultural overpass are all complete and in use," said Geoff Freer, executive director of the Gateway Program. "All of the rest of the intersections and interchanges and overpasses are still under construction."
Freer expects all South Delta projects will be finished in fall 2013 and the entire four-lane, 40-km long road will be open to traffic in December 2013.
The $1.3 billion highway, part of the province's Gateway program, is designed to improve the movement of goods and people through the region. It connects Deltaport Way to 176th Street in Surrey with connections to major river crossings and highways.
While SFPR construction forges ahead, there is still vehement opposition to the new road.
"There's been community opposition to that freeway since day one and we've not been listened to," said Ladner resident Cathy Wilander, local chair of the Council of Canadians citizens group.
Wilander is helping organize a rally and march to Save the Fraser delta, which starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday (June 16) at Magee Park in Ladner.
In addition to the SFPR, Wilander said many people are also concerned about potential port expansion, a foreign trade zone and selling farmland for development.
"We see this basically as the eye of the hurricane for the industrialization in the Lower Mainland," she said. "It's much more than a local issue."
Guest speakers will kick off the event, after which the protest group will march through the Ladner Village banging pots and pans, displaying signs, and carrying a 20-foot-long salmon puppet.
"That's to symbolize how precious our Fraser River delta farmland is and the Fraser River that created it," Wilander said.