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Langley wins $1 million in Second Street grants

This is an artist’s conception of how Second Street, facing Useless Bay Coffee Company, will appear after its reconstruction, which could start as early as June.  - Art by KPG Engineering
This is an artist’s conception of how Second Street, facing Useless Bay Coffee Company, will appear after its reconstruction, which could start as early as June.
— image credit: Art by KPG Engineering

LANGLEY — A pair of grants totaling $1 million were recently awarded to Langley’s Second Street project.

The state and federal grants amount to more than half of the project’s total $1.8 million budget, though that could increase a bit between now and the project’s earliest start date in June. One major added cost was the replacement of a water line along Second Street, between Cascade and Anthes avenue.

“We’re hoping not to have to dig that up for the next 30 years,” said Challis Stringer, Langley’s public works director, of the new water line.

Another added cost to the project could be moving utility lines underground. Large poles on either side of Second Street would be removed and the power and cable lines would be buried, freeing space on the surface for sidewalks.

Sidewalk width in the center section of Second Street was finalized by the design firm KPG and Langley’s city planner, Jeff Arango. They opted for a plaza-type pedestrian area, with the concrete street meeting slightly elevated pavers that connect the north and south sides of the street.

“It will have the look and feel of a pedestrian space, but cars can still drive through it,” Arango said.

The intent was to keep the area inviting to shoppers walking the street, but also keep the street just that, a street. The visual cues of planters, benches, tables and the absence of curbs would alert drivers to slow down, as well as the different patterned street surface without double yellow lines.

Other features of the Second Street project included a large rain garden. The garden near the entrance to Langley Village would treat stormwater.

“It’s infrastructure and it’s placemaking,” Arango said.

Second Street improvements stemmed from the discovery that the street itself has failed. The base of the roadway failed after being improperly set some 45 years ago, Stringer said. One example Stringer gave was wood chips that were used as the base near the Good Cheer thrift store.

Now, a trench runs from in front of Useless Bay Coffee Company down the grade of Second Street, with a few patched over potholes along the way. Resurfacing was out of the question, Stringer said, because within a year the same trenching and cracking would return. Stormwater from Cascade Avenue flows down to Second Street. The accumulated water sheets on the street, Stringer said, which causes the cracks and holes.

“If you look down, you can see it, especially when it rains,” she said.

When work actually begins, which won’t be until June at the earliest, the plan is to phase construction. Businesses should be minimally impacted, Arango said, and breaking the work into several parts will mitigate the loss of parking.

Loading and delivery parking was discussed again. Arango was working to find a space at the west end of Second Street, preferably in front of the US Bank. That would require closing off the entrance/exit on Second Street to the bank’s parking lot, which has an entrance/exit on Anthes Avenue.

“We think it’s a great location,” Arango said.

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