Only a few poles, absent wires, remained in the Fort Langley core as a long-delayed switch to underground cabling neared completion. (Mathew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Underground, at last, in Fort Langley

Long-awaited elimination of overhead wires nears completion

Downtown Fort Langley is, finally, free of overhead power and utility lines.

Aaron Ruhl, Langley Township manager of engineering and construction services, said the work is close to complete.

“Street lights and some restoration work remains [to fill in the holes where the utility poles used to be] ,” Ruhl told the Langley Advance Times.

Plans call for ornamental street lights.

Coun. Eric Woodward, who was president of the Fort Langley BIA at the time the undergrounding was proposed, called it “fabulous.”

“It’s made a dramatic difference,” Woodward said.

Woodward called it “a great deal for the taxpayer” because it is being funded two-thirds by Fort Langley businesses over 20 years.

Eliminating the tangle of wires was not without controversy.

Approved in 2012, the plan to bury utility poles and wires in Fort Langley’s commercial core passed by a narrow 51.5 per cent of owners of property in the Local Area Service covered by the petition.

It was opposed by the Langley Heritage Society, which argued the wires may have been unsightly but they have never posed a hazard.

READ MORE: Underground wiring approved for Fort Langley

Other critics objected to the street-level transformer boxes.

An unsigned internal memo from the Township engineering division to council said the idea of burying the new boxes was raised by municipal staff with BC Hydro, which rejected the notion.

“BC Hydro advised that they will not allow the undergrounding of their transformer infrastructure,” the memo said.

READ MORE: Hydro says no to underground utility boxes in Fort Langley

B.C. Hydro agreed to allow decorative wraps on the new ground-level utility boxes in Fort Langley, provided the Township paid for installation and maintenance.

Construction took place along Glover Road, from Francis Avenue to the Jacob Haldi Bridge, Mavis Avenue from Queen Street to McBride Street, Mary Avenue from Queen Street to Glover Road and along the lane north of the Community Hall between Glover Road and McBride Street.

At the time it was announced, the project was projected to cost the benefiting property owners $3 million, and Township taxpayers $1 million

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

 

A ‘before’ picture of the Fort Langley core with the power lines. (File photo)

Just Posted

Giddy Up – annual Mustang car show comes to Langley

The Mustang has been on the market for 55 years, and owners gather to celebrate the iconic Ford.

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of Lower Mainland robberies stretched from Surrey to Mission

Debussy, Chopin, Bartok, and a selection of Celtic favourites

‘Music for a summer afternoon’ features live harp and flute performances at Trinity Western House

Vancouver Giants Scouts sticking with team for another season

Contracts extended for Head Scout Terry Bonner and Scouting Director Daryl Anning

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

‘Person of interest’ identified after suspicious meat left in North Delta park

Piles of meat have been dumped near the 63rd Avenue trail entrance four times in the last 30 days

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Oppenheimer Park residents told to leave, clear out tents by Aug. 21

Police say park has seen influx of residents, violence in recent months

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Most Read