Freeway fight escalates as North Surrey house falls
A Guest Post from Carmen at Gatewaysucks.org.
The fight against Gateway is far from over…communities are
(finally!) recognizing their common interest in stopping this
project, and are supporting each other. With this and the collapse of funding, it is highly possible that this freeway-building insanity may be stopped.
Brian Lewis really captured it in today’s Province
And here is some video from ShawTV (segment starts 4 minutes in):
Attached is our press release …thank you for following this mportant story as it continues to unfold!
SURREY – On Saturday morning, after a 5 day/24 hour blockade encampment, concerned citizens witnessed the demolition of the last house standing in the way of the proposed South Fraser Freeway in Surrey’s Bridgeview neighbourhood.
This working family neighbourhood is the first targeted by the Gateway, Project, forcing many residents with deep roots in the community to leave. The demolition equipment was escorted through a back entrance to the property under guard of private security hired by the Ministry of Transportation.
“This freeway is threatening to destroy communities all along the river, and outdated freeway projects like this are cooking our planet,” said Tom Jaugelis, a North Surrey resident and spokesperson for the group. “Instead of spending billions on the Gateway project, we should be investing in green jobs like the public transit that Surrey needs right now.” The Livable Region Coalition estimates that the Gateway project would increase carbon emissions from cars and trucks by 30%.
Ministry officials plan to lay pre-load sand throughout the neighbourhood so the boggy area will be suitable for paving in about three years. Although the government has spent about $100 million expropriating properties and dumping sand, the project design has not been finalized and no builder has been selected.
“Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon wants to spend billions putting a useless freeway next to our school that will cut us off from the river, beach, and our fishing dock.” Said Bernadette Keenan, who sits on the Board of the Bridgeview Community Association. “Our community has a different vision for North Surrey. This is going to be a mixed-use waterfront community, not an industrial wasteland beside a freeway. We are continuing to fight for our community.”
Jaugelis added, “We have been getting more and more support from communities all along the proposed freeway route, people from one end to the other have been coming by with encouragement, hot chocolate and snacks.We will be there to support them when Falcon tries to trash their communities. This is just the beginning.”