A pair of pedestrians head south over the 152 Street overpass, which was fully reopened last month following structural damage sustained Dec. 4. (File photo)

A pair of pedestrians head south over the 152 Street overpass, which was fully reopened last month following structural damage sustained Dec. 4. (File photo)

Hepner ‘disappointed, but pragmatic’ about decision to repair South Surrey overpass

Ministry last week estimated cost at $1.2 million

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said while she is disappointed the provincial transportation ministry opted to only repair the 152 Street overpass in South Surrey, the decision makes some sense.

“I’m pragmatic enough to understand… that it would’ve been difficult to accomplish within the time frame of anemergency repair,” Hepner told Peace Arch News said Tuesday.

“(Four-laning) would’ve taken a much longer process. I think for that, we would’ve needed to be much better-prepared.”

Ministry officials confirmed last week that repairs to the overpass – damaged in December when it was struck by an over-height commercial vehicle – are expected to cost around $1.2 million.

“The ministry is still finalizing costs for repairs to the 152nd St. underpass. It anticipates repairs to cost in the neighbourhood of $1.2 million. The ministry expects to be able to recover some of the costs through ICBC,” a ministry spokesperson told PAN by email Thursday.

The anticipated tab didn’t surprise one councillor who, in January, described the decision to simply repair the aging infrastructure as “totally insane.”

However, White Rock Coun. Grant Meyer, noting issues with the overpass affect “a lot” of people in White Rock and South Surrey alike, said this week he remains disappointed that a full replacement wasn’t considered.

“I get that it would’ve taken longer and more money to get it to four lanes, but sometimes short-term pain for long-term gain,” he told PAN.

“It would’ve been nice to at least look at it.”

The overpass fully reopened in early March. Traffic had been restricted to only southbound travel since the day after the damage occurred – causing frustration for commuters and area businesses alike. Highway 99 traffic was also limited northbound while repairs were being done, however, that thoroughfare has now also fully reopened. Repair work got underway in February, and had initially been expected to finish in April.

Peace Arch News