Traffic flow issues impact Mission homeowners

Properties on Cedar will need to be expropriated by the district.

A plan to improve traffic flow at Cedar Street and Seventh Ave. isn’t sitting well with some residents – especially those who will see their land expropriated by the district.

The plan, which is scheduled to be discussed during Monday’s council meeting, calls for the widening of Cedar Street, at the Seventh Ave. Intersection, to allow for five lanes, two in each direction and one left turn lane, as well as other improvements to help driver visibility.

The project, which is budgeted at $3.6 million will require the district to acquire both privately-owned land and land owned by BC Hydro.

The two properties most affected by the proposal are located at  7624 and 7642 Cedar Street. The proposed road and sidewalk would be pushed immediately adjacent to the building envelope of those two properties.

Other properties will also be impacted, but to a lesser degree.

“I think the general public would love to see the intersection improved somehow to get the traffic moving. But to do that we have to expropriate some lands,” said Mission Mayor Randy Hawes who called the current traffic situation a “failure” and “badly designed.”

While the road “has to be fixed,” Hawes said he understands the frustrations of homeowners.

“I would probably feel the same if I lived in one of those houses.”

The road repair is still up in the air as no time line for construction is set. Currently, the district does not have the budget to begin work or even to negotiate prices for the homeowners’ lands.

Hawes is hopeful that  the new infrastructure program that has been promised by the new Liberal federal government could provide some needed funding. Originally, staff slated the project to take place in 2020, but recent traffic flow studies show that it must be completed closer to 2017.

Cedar Street homeowners are expected to attend and voice concerns during Monday’s council meetings at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.