Tracy Holmes photo                                Railway ties line White Rock’s waterfront tracks, in preparation for work set to begin next week to replace 13,000 ties between the border and New Westminster.

Tracy Holmes photo Railway ties line White Rock’s waterfront tracks, in preparation for work set to begin next week to replace 13,000 ties between the border and New Westminster.

BNSF to replace rail ties through White Rock and South Surrey

Residents concerned about potential impact to environment

Replacement of ties along the White Rock rail line is to get underway next week, officials with BNSF have advised.

Company spokesman Gus Melonas contacted Peace Arch News Wednesday after fielding calls regarding ties that were recently distributed alongside the waterfront tracks.

Residents have also reached out to PAN, submitting critical letters detailing concerns with the potential environmental impact of the “creosote-soaked” ties.

Melonas – who did not respond to follow-up requests for comment regarding the concerns by PAN’s press deadline Thursday morning – said they are to be installed over the next two to three weeks, as part of BNSF’s capital program.

Equipment plus a “tie gang” of approximately 40 personnel will spend about six hours per day on the job, switching out around 13,000 rail ties between the border and New Westminster, Melonas said.

The work – valued at about US$2.5 million – is “to upgrade the rail structure,” and will result in safer, more efficient and quieter operations along the line, Melonas said.

He asked anyone in the area to be aware and “please stay a safe distance” from the work.