Motorists frustrated by the bumpy drive along several blocks of South Surrey’s 24 Avenue this year are starting to feel some relief.
Long-anticipated paving of the roughly patched thoroughfare between King George Boulevard and 148 Street got underway last week.
Its completion – along with that of 152 Street between 20 and 24 avenues – is expected in mid-September, Scott Neuman, Surrey’s manager of design and construction in engineering, told Peace Arch News.
“We all want to get this area finished,” Neuman said. “We’ve had calls and emails regarding the road condition, and asking us to get the paving done as soon as possible.”
After driving the area himself last week, Neuman said he “was happy to know they were going to be moving ahead.”
Work on the two roads started in early December, but was delayed first by water main leaks, and then by a request from Fortis for time to redo gas mains.
“We deferred the paving for a couple months (for the Fortis work),” Neuman said.
Residents concerned with the roads’ condition have also contacted PAN, with one describing the condition of 24 Avenue as “deplorable.”
“It’s been torn up time and time again,” said David Secord. “You drive over it and your teeth get rattled out.”
Doug Pawson, who lives in the 15300-block of 24 Avenue, said he was frustrated by the lack of notice of overnight work that occurred on Aug. 20 from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following morning (last Friday).
Previously, residents had received advance notice of upcoming work delivered to their homes. However, word of the overnight efforts was simply posted in the clubhouse of Pawson’s townhouse complex, where it went unseen by many residents, he said.
He learned of it himself when it was already underway, he said – too late to plan for alternate accommodations for the night.
“Our china was rattling, we’ve got pictures that were disarrayed,” Pawson said. “The shaking was just unbelievable.”
Neuman explained the notice, dated Aug. 17, was short due to the prompt turnaround of the work, which had to be scheduled around the competing interests of area businesses – as it required the closing of entrances to Peninsula Village – and residents.
While Secord questioned if taxpayers would be footing the bill for the “sub-standard” water main work and paying extra for the paving, Neuman assured there have been “no extra costs at all.” Significant costs associated with the leak have been recovered from the contractor, and the additional repaving “is not coming out of (taxpayer) pockets.”
Neuman estimated the paving investment in the two roads at $1 million.
The end of another South Surrey roadworks project is also in sight, although a little farther in the future. Neuman said that another project in the area – the widening of King George Boulevard from 34 Avenue to Crescent Road – is largely finished, however, a bridge that is part of the project is not anticipated to be complete until the end of the year or early January.