Skip to content

Surrey council awards design contract for 72 Avenue extension

Once built, the 72 Avenue expansion is expected to see 37,300 vehicles daily
The City of Surrey is expanding 72 Avenue from 152 Street through to 176 Street.

Surrey city council voted Monday, July 8 to enter an agreement with Aplin & Martin Consultants Ltd. to provide a preliminary design for the 72 Avenue extension from 152 Street to 176 Street, at a cost of $743,787.87 with a spending cap of $820,000.

Included in the design agreement is an option to retain Aplin & Martin to also provide engineering services for $580,000, as well as construction. The road project aims to relieve traffic congestion on Highway 10, 64 Avenue and 88 Avenue.

In March, city staff presented four scenarios for the project range from $95 million to $158 million after council directed city staff in May 2023 to assess the feasibility, costs, benefits and the impacts of extending 72 Avenue from 152 Street east to Highway 15 (176 Street). 

A corporate report by Scott Neuman, Surrey’s general manager of engineering, notes that council has directed city staff to proceed with a road design that would see two lanes in each direction, improved agricultural ditches and road shoulders wide enough to permit farming machinery to use it while allowing vehicles to pass on an inside lane.

This preliminary design phase, Neuman told council, involves project management, structural and geotechnical design, road design, environmental and agricultural permitting, and liaising with third-party utilities.

"Staff will report to council on the results of the preliminary designs and City-led public engagement efforts, which is anticipated before the end of 2024," Neuman told council, with the first phase of work to begin in the Fall of 2025, subject to council's approval, securing necessary environmental permits, third-party utility approvals and property. His report indicates "construction would then be anticipated to be completed by 2030," but when speaking with council Monday he revised that to "ultimately road opening is approximately 2028, 2029."

Meantime, a traffic analysis looking at four stretches of road and anticipating daily traffic volumes in 2050 compared to 2022– with and without the 72 Avenue expansion – is sobering. 

First up is 88 Avenue from 152 Street to Highway 15, which in 2022 on average saw 12,500 vehicles each day. By 2050, with the 72 Avenue expansion, that’s forecast to swell to 17,500 and without, to 19,500.

Next, it considered 64 Avenue from 152 Street to Highway 15, which on average saw 27,000 vehicles per day. By 2050, with the 72 Avenue expansion that’s expected to increase to 24,900 and without, to 36,600.

Looking at Highway 10, from 152 Street to Highway 15, this stretch of road in 2022 saw 47,300 vehicles daily but by 2050, with the 72 Avenue expansion, that’s anticipated to grow to 50,000 and without, to 53,300.

Once built, the 72 Avenue expansion is expected to see 37,300 vehicles daily.

All told, the total trips for all these sections of road combined were 86,800 vehicles daily in 2022 but in 2050 that’s expected to be 109,400 without the 72 Avenue expansion project and 129,700 including it.

Of the four design scenarios presented, the cheapest at $95 million would see a two-lane narrow road built, similar to Colebrook Road. The second scenario, at $132 million, features two lanes with a two-way left-turn lane while the third scenario, at a cost of $138 million, is a four-lane road with a shoulder. Neuman noted this one would have a “direct impact” on 17 properties along the road corridor. The fourth scenario, with a construction cost anticipated at $158 million, involves a four-lane multi-modal corridor.

"This is quite exciting," Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke said. "I've only heard people singing the praises of this, they're looking forward to it. We all know what gridlock is like in Surrey so this will be a huge bonus to us."

Coun. Harry Bains added 72 Avenue will be "a vital link in our city. It's going to improve our east-west connectivity; it's going to take a load off of Fraser Highway as well with all the construction and all the new homes, and dwelling units that are going to go along Fraser Highway."

Coun. Rob Stutt said "this is so, so necessary to make Surrey more commutable," with Coun. Mike Bose adding that "as much as this is going to benefit commuting across the city, it will actually improve accessibility and productivity of those lands that it's going through."




About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
Read more