If you look at most of the road infrastructure built in the South of Fraser over the last decade by the provincial and federal government, most has been built to support Port Metro Vancouver and commercial goods movement. The new South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) will, for example, connect Highway One to Fraser Docks and Deltaport. In fact, most of the land removed from farm-use in the sub-region has been to support various Port projects. The SFPR itself removed 90 hectares of land from farm-use in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), plus rail expansion for the port removed a further 21 hectares. As part of the Tsawwassen First Nation treaty, 216 hectares of land was removed from the ALR and is now zoned Industrial to support Port-related businesses. All in all, the Port has had a major impact on the South of Fraser. All of this infrastructure and land-removal is likely to support the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal Two expansion.
I was reminded about the Port’s impact in the South of Fraser when I received an email about another project that they are working on. As part of the expansion of the current port facility in Delta, Port Metro Vancouver is increasing road and rail capacity on its land. The latest project that has started construction will include:
-An overpass on the existing Roberts Bank causeway that will separate road and rail traffic
-Reconfiguration of rail track and additional container handling equipment within the Deltaport Terminal
-Rail improvements within the existing railway right-of-way and within a portion of the Option [TFN] Lands west of Arthur Drive
-Road improvements on Deltaport Way to improve the movement of container trucks at Deltaport
You can read more about these infrastructure projects on the Port’s website.
One of the things that I find interesting is that public money is used to support the Port and has gone unchecked. There has been little in the media about the massive spending and impact the Port is having in our region. It is interesting because the Port is a public body with no direct accountability, just like TransLink. Yet if TransLink changes from 1 to 2 ply toilet paper, it becomes a scandal. It makes me wonder why.