|THE HOOVER / NAAS PROPOSAL|
| ORIGINAL PROPOSAL
After considering the two major traffic issues in South Delta, the Massey Tunnel, and the current and future volume of semi trucks coming from the Port expansion, our proposal is to build a dedicated truck route from the Port following the existing railroad line out to where the rail line crosses HWY#99. The semi trucks going to and coming from the Port would stay on the south side of HWY#99 passing under the existing rail line. Between the HWY#99 railway overpass and the south end of HWY#91 a large truck inspection/weigh scale station would be built, so that all trucks entering and leaving the Port would be subject to weight and mechanical checks as required.
Upon leaving this facility the trucks would have only two options, south on HWY#99 or north on HWY#91 connecting with HWY # 10. There would be NO access for these trucks to travel north on HWY#99 to the Massey Tunnel.
|This approach is faster and cheaper to build and less disruptive to Delta because the Province of British Columbia still owns the railway and the 100 foot right of way that the one existing track occupys. We suggest that two sets of tracks and 3 lanes of highway could easily be built using almost no additional land.|
|With this dedicated truck route there would be no access to the Port road for local traffic, and only trucks and vehicles doing business at the Port would be given access to it. This would be achieved by building an overpass at every side road that crosses the route as it passes through South Delta. Access could still be maintained at Arthur Drive and HWY#17, but they would be gated, with access controlled by Port security, for employee, fire, ambulance,hazmat and other emergency needs.|
|We are also suggesting that a small connector road be built from HWY#17 west of 52nd street, which would divert all semi trucks going to and from the Ferries up to the Delta Port Way. This would take more trucks out of local traffic, further reduce tunnel traffic and also run more semi trucks through the inspection process.|
|We also suggest that the current truck weigh scale be totally removed from the southbound lane on the north side of the tunnel. The position of this scale, requiring trucks to gain speed while merging with highway traffic as it enters the darkness of the Massey Tunnel is poor highway design. We understand that the Provincial Government has recently stated that these scales will be permanently closed. One small victory.|
|At the same location we have also suggested that the Richmond information center be closed and removed. The land should be used as a two lane stacker area that holds traffic waiting to get on to Steveston Road without interfering with the northbound flow of HWY#99. There was no better extreme example of the effects of the current road condition, than during the Tall Ships Festival in Richmond. Locals, tourists and trucks all had one operating lane through the tunnel during the entire event, because of people waiting to get off HWY#99 at Steveston Road. Thatís the extreme, but a similar situation happens every day on a smaller scale.|
|We also suggest that HWY#17 be widened from one lane to two from 56th street out to the Ferry Causeway. The high speed narrowing of traffic bound for the ferries along this section is dangerous and there is no apparent reason for it.|
|We are also suggesting that the existing weigh scale for trucks on south bound HWY#91 at the south end of the Alex Fraser bridge be closed. It is extremely disruptive to traffic and itís difficult to understand what benefit it provides to the road system. The new proposed facility at HWY#99 & HWY#91 would replace it.|
| A TUNNEL UNDER NORTH DELTA
The Sunbury and Annieville areas of North Delta are heavily populated residential areas on the sloping land on the south side of the Fraser River. These neighbourhoods have existed for generations and there is no easy or cost effective way to go around or through them. We believe, as do the residents of North Delta, that a tunnel under the area could carry the South Fraser Perimeter Road from Surrey to Nordel and Highway 91 in a much safer and less destructive way then a highway along the bank of the Fraser River. For much more information on this subject please visit the website of the Sunbury Residents Association at http://www.sunburyneighbourhood.ca/
| PROPOSAL FOR HIGH VOLTAGE HYDRO TRANSMISSION TOWERS
For two years in Tsawwassen, there has been much public concern over the proposed upgrading of an existing high voltage transmission line, which runs through residential areas in central Tsawwassen. We would suggest that those new towers and lines could be easily run along the existing railway right of way, from their current position east of HWY#99, due west out the causeway towards the Port. They could connect to a marine cable anywhere along the causeway.
If this is considered with our other proposals, it would create a commercial service corridor containing all Port, and Ferry heavy trucks, all coal and container trains, and all the heavy power lines servicing Vancouver Island. This would eliminate all potential truck/train car accidents in South Delta, as well as any danger posed by the high voltage lines in residential areas.
The further benefit is that future expansion of any or all of these services would have little to no effect on the residents of Delta because it is all contained in the commercial service corridor.
|The Port of Los Angeles, USA, has required that all ocean going vessels moored at dockside, must turn off their engines and run from shore power. This tremendous reduction in air pollution required ample hydro power to be available at the dockside, so running high voltage out the causeway has the added potential benefit of greatly reducing air pollution in the lower mainland.
Below is a graph of the top five sources of air pollution in the Lower Mainland. Note how air care is dramatically reducing pollution from light vehicles, but whatever we have achieved is being lost to pollution from marine services.
| THE ISSUE OF POLLUTION FROM GOODS CARRIED BY TRUCK or TRAIN
Since the type of product carried in containers is extensive and ever changing, we have concerns for what pollution those products might cause resulting from major truck accidents or train derailments. We donít believe that the residents of Delta should be exposed to, or have to pay for, the pollution these events could generate, anything from diesel fuel to chemicals. Our dedicated truck route accomplishes much to protect Delta by keeping all the potential on one roadway, but we believe the new road design should go further. Currently the existing rail lines and Delta Port Way have drainage ditches that are also irrigation channels for local farmers. If a container of potash, or thousands of gallons of diesel fuel were dumped into those channels in August, there would be no water for farmers to irrigate, not to mention the loss of wildlife and habitat. Therefore we have also suggested that the new dedicated truck route have drainage ditches along its length separated from local irrigation channels, and to have any necessary connection controlled with oil separation devices. The Port should be responsible for all maintenance, environmental spills, and clean-up costs along the dedicated truck route. (Click here to read the Delta Optimist)
| THE UPGRADING OF HIGHWAY #10
Currently HWY#10 is undergoing major reconstruction through South Surrey. The road will be reconstructed and widened to four lanes all the way from Langley, but those improvements are designed to stop at Scott Road. First we wanted to know why the Delta section is not being upgraded from the "two lane wagon trail" it currently is, and it appears that the plan is all east bound traffic will use the new SFPR to go east. We have suggested that the 4 lane new HWY#10 should be continued all the way to Ladner and let Delta business and traffic have some benefits from that new road. As residents of South Delta we canít imagine using the SFPR to get to jobs, stores and services in Surrey and Langley, as it goes the wrong direction. The is apparently no consideration of the effect on local Delta business if tourists and local traffic is encouraged to use the SFPR.
UPGRADING THE INTERSECTION OF HWY #17 AND HWY #99
We also believe that the current overpasses in place at the HWY#99 and HWY#17 intersection have to be dramatically redesigned and rebuilt. The structures are being asked to do functions they didnít do originally with HOV lanes, two sets of lights and heavy traffic going to Tilbury, the ferries and the Port, which didnít exist when the overpasses were built. Proper seperation of traffic flow here could improve access and egress to Tilbury, and better traffic control could improve situations leading to the tunnel. What exists today is a patchwork of 50 years of problem solving, which cumulatively doesn't work. If the tunnel situation isnít going to change for 40 years at least the approach to the tunnel must be improved to the best designed traffic flow possible.