Two options to connect King Road into an east-west thoroughfare have caused disagreement between homeowners and nearby industry.
The goal is to link the road near the Abbotsford International Airport out to 16th Avenue in Langley, travelling to White Rock and intersecting with Highway 99 to provide another high-volume east–west route from Abbotsford to Surrey — with the goal of easing heavy traffic on the Fraser Highway.
The first option is to connect two existing sections of King Road; the second to diagonally connect the Marshall Road Extension from the east to King Road from the west. In both cases, the connected road would be two lanes with shoulders and bicycle access. By 2031, planners predict an expansion to four full lanes will be necessary due to projected traffic increases.
The King Road plan has been part of the city’s transportation plan for years, but it would cut through gravel pit operators’ industrial lots in the area. A number of gravel companies worked with the city to develop an alternate plan,using Marshall Road Extension, this spring.
The Marshall route would cost about $5 million less for the initial two-lane connector, and nearly $9 million less when the costs of the 2031 four-lane widening are added. But widening the road would cut into existing homeowners’ yards, and bring heavy truck traffic to what was formerly a quiet residential cul-de-sac.
City staff are recommending the Marshall route, and have been negotiating road-building logistics with the gravel operators for months. Residents along the route, though, aren’t happy.
John Schroeder, a Marshall Road Extension resident, said that although the King Road route would direct the highway beside some homes on King and Peardonville roads, this would have a much lower impact as Peardonville is already a busy road, “not a dead-end street.”
At a mid-November meeting, Abbotsford council opted to ask staff to continue researching the potential impact of both routes. But if construction on the new connector is expected to begin in the new year, they’ll need to finalize a decision soon. And with congestion on the Fraser Highway continuing to grow, commuters and industry alike want to see another route option soon.