Officials are pushing back on the idea that SkyTrain to Langley was ever planned for 2028. (Black Press file photo)

SkyTrain’s planned completion in Langley always later than 2025, officials say

Debate about dates comes after Surrey mayor's comments

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum’s recent comments on a “delay” of SkyTrain’s opening has left Langley officials somewhat confused, as 2028 is two years earlier than they had originally been promised.

On Sept. 21, McCallum said it was “disconcerting” that the project, a 16-kilometre line that will run down Fraser Highway from Surrey Centre to Langley City, will be completed in 2028 instead of 2025.

However, there have been several completion dates proposed for the project as it moved through various stages, including 2024, 2025, 2028, and 2030 for various stages.

In 2019, when it was still seen as a two-phase project, 2030 was seen as the likely earliest date for the arrival of SkyTrain in Langley.

TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn noted the recent comments when speaking Thursday to the TransLink Mayors’ Council.

“Recently there has been some comments made in the media suggesting that the project has been delayed in some way and and I really want to take the opportunity to clarify that that is not the case, and the project has not been delayed,” he said. “Originally TransLink was anticipating the delivery of phase one’s Fleetwood in 2025. Phase two, to Langley City, was targeted to be complete by 2030 and required approvals and a future investment plan.”

The plan has changed multiple times over the past few years.

After McCallum’s mayoral victory in Surrey in 2018, a plan for at-grade light rail was scrapped in favour of a full SkyTrain extension. That left the project with a funding shortfall, and TransLink sought money from provincial and federal sources.

Provincial Minister of Transportation Rob Fleming noted that the entire line extension was moved up after the original two phases were combined into one, and the expansion was made a provincially managed project.

Simply building the whole route as one project allowed for a speeded-up completion date, Fleming said.

He said combining the two phases will also save about half a billion dollars.

Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek suggested that McCallum’s comments were a non-story, considering that the City had long been told not to expect the completion of the line before 2030.

READ ALSO: TransLink CEO says Surrey-Langley SkyTrain line set to to open 2028 but not delayed

– With files from the Surrey Now Leader

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Langley Advance Times