Monday, July 18, 2022

Surrey Langley SkyTrain Extension Business Case Approved. Procurement Starting.

Waterfront Station

On Thursday, the provincial government released the business case for extending the SkyTrain Expo Line from its current terminus at King George to 203rd Street in Langley City. The Province also announced that they approved the business case and that procurement for the project will start in December this year, with full construction starting in 2024. The Province expects the extension to enter service in 2028.

Alignment and stations for Surrey Langley SkyTrain extension. Select map to enlarge.

One of the interesting things about this 16-kilometre SkyTrain extension is that the Province is proposing to put out three different contracts for its construction. In the past, the Province has issued a single contract to build SkyTrain projects, whether in the public-private partnership model of the Canada Line or the design-build model for the Evergreen Line and Broadway Subway. The Province will be issuing three contracts for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension.

The three contracts will be for: the guideway, the stations and power systems, and trackwork and associated systems.

The Province believes, as shown in the business case, that three contracts will increase the competitiveness of the tender process, leading to lower costs. The Province also thinks it will lower the overall risks to the project.

Overall, the extension will cost $4.01 billion. The Province is funding $2.476 billion, the federal government, $1.306 billion, and TransLink/Surrey will invest $228 million.

The Province is also investing $60 million into walking and cycling infrastructure as part of the overall project. This funding will be available to build active transportation infrastructure along and near Fraser Highway to make it easier for people to walk or cycle to SkyTrain stations.

I am hopeful that Langley City will be able to use some of this funding to build out our safe active transportation network. As our community is only 10 square kilometres, virtually every corner of Langley City is within a 10 minutes bike ride of a SkyTrain station.

The project’s principal goals are to reduce congestion, reduce travel times, and give people travel options. In 2028, the Province predicts that the project will eliminate 20,000 daily auto trips. This number grows over time.

In its press release, the Province stated, “The development of housing and amenities for the Surrey Langley SkyTrain will also be guided by recent changes to the Transportation Act (Bill 16) that were passed during the spring 2022 legislative session. Bill 16 enables the Province to acquire land to build housing and community amenities that are integrated into transit stations or exchanges.”

I haven’t heard what this will mean on the ground. Does it mean the Province will acquire land to build affordable housing projects? I look forward to seeing the Province’s plan.

You can download the business case from the Province’s website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Light Rail Transit would have been just as good and a lot cheaper than the Sky Train option which we are stuck with now.