Enhanced safety for pedestrians and cyclists, more capacity for port
NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, March 19, 2015 /CNW/ - A major milestone was celebrated today in the City of North Vancouver with the announcement of the completion of the Low Level Road Project, and the official opening of a new section of the Spirit Trail.
Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver, on behalf of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today officially opened the new Spirit Trail and Low Level Road with Peter Xotta, Vice President of Planning and Operations, Port Metro Vancouver; Barry Forbes, Vice Chair, TransLink Board of Directors; and Darrell Mussatto, Mayor of the City of North Vancouver.
The Low Level Road Project involved the realignment and elevation of approximately 2.6 kilometres of the Low Level Road, between St. Georges Avenue and 3rd Street East, providing space for two new rail tracks to improve rail switching efficiency and capacity. The project also eliminated three existing at-grade rail crossings and provided grade separated access to Neptune and Cargill terminals. Works addressed safety, recreation and noise challenges associated with port operations along the Low Level Road, including the reconfiguration of three intersections and improved lanes for cyclists.
In addition, the project involved the completion of the Spirit Trail pedestrian walkway from St. Georges Avenue to Kennard Avenue, including structures over two creeks in Moodyville Park and an overpass at 3rd Street East near Heywood Street. The Spirit Trail walkway accelerates the City of North Vancouver's vision for a multi-use greenway.
The project was designed to enhance rail and port operations as international trade continues to grow, and to address long-standing community safety and traffic congestion challenges in the area.
- The Low Level Road Project contributes to the expansion of the rail lines through the North Shore Trade Area and aims to address long-standing community needs by reducing traffic congestion and train noise.
- The total cost of the project is $101.6 million, including a federal government contribution of $49.4 million under the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Transportation Infrastructure Fund. The other funding partners are:
- Port Metro Vancouver ($31.6 million)
- Canadian National Railway ($10 million)
- TransLink ($5 million)
- Canadian Pacific Railway ($4.8 million)
- City of North Vancouver ($800,000)
- The project enhances rail and port operations by adding cargo capacity through increased mainline rail and rail yard capacity.
- The project enhances access to terminal facilities for commercial traffic, enabling longer train lengths, and improved road connections to industries bordering the rail tracks.
- Environmental compensation for the project included invasive species removal, installation of two artificial nest sites for eagles and landscaping incorporating indigenous species.
- Public artwork components were installed along the new road.
"Our government is proud to deliver on another Asia-Pacific Gateway success story. The Low Level Road Project will contribute to Canada's trade competiveness in the Asia-Pacific region, while providing environmental and economic benefits to local communities and industry right here on the North Shore."
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver
"The Low Level Road Project is a fantastic example of Port Metro Vancouver working to achieve our mandate by increasing trade opportunities for Canada while balancing the needs of the environment and local communities. This project and the joint effort of all funding partners will contribute significantly to increasing trade opportunities in the Pacific Gateway, while also increasing safety and quality of life for local residents in North Vancouver."
Vice President of Planning and Operations, Port Metro Vancouver
"Projects of this nature are made possible through a shared vision and cooperation. Improving the Low Level Road, which is part of the major road network, is key to the safe and efficient movement of people and goods across the region. This project will also help ease traffic congestion and enhance road safety for pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and transit users traveling in or through the North Shore community."
Vice Chair, TransLink Board of Directors
"The improvements made to the Low Level Road will deliver significant benefits to our community. This signature new road is now a landmark that will greatly improve congestion, and its redesign addresses safety, noise and pollution. The extension of the Sprit Trail and addition of dedicated bicycle paths will provide lasting health benefits to the community. Many thanks to all for your patience during this major engineering feat."
Mayor of the City of North Vancouver
- Backgrounder: Low Level Road Project
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Low Level Road Project
The Low Level Road Project in the City of North Vancouver is a key component of the North Shore Trade Area initiative, which is part of a broader investment by the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, Port Metro Vancouver, TransLink, the City of North Vancouver, the District of North Vancouver and the private sector. This project will increase the international competitiveness of the North Shore Trade Area by improving the efficiency of port operations while addressing long-standing community needs.
The Low Level Road Project involves the realignment and elevation of approximately 2.6 kilometres of the existing Low Level Road, between St. Georges Avenue and 3rd Street East to accommodate two new rail tracks that are essential to port terminal expansion. The project includes replacing the existing at-grade road-rail crossing that provides access to the Neptune and Cargill terminals with a grade separation as well as reconfiguring three intersections. The project also improves safety with better lanes for cyclists.
In addition, the project involves the completion of the Spirit Trail pedestrian walkway from St. Georges Avenue to Kennard Avenue, including structures over two creeks in Moodyville Park and an overpass at 3rd Street East near Heywood Street. The Spirit Trail walkway accelerates the City of North Vancouver's vision for a multi-use greenway.
The westbound lane of the new Low Level Road opened in August 2014, marking a major milestone towards project completion. With the opening of the eastbound lane in October 2014, motorists can now travel in both directions along the new alignment. Now fully complete, the new roadway offers wider bike lanes, green walls, public art, and improved safety by separating rail and road users.
Facts and statistics for the Low Level Road Project
- The new road is 2.6 kilometres long with retaining walls that average 8 metres high.
- One new major overpass at the Neptune/Cargill terminal entrance separates traffic and pedestrians from rail lines.
- Three new pedestrian bridges have been built along the Spirit Trail alignment, as well as a bow string arch steel structure at 3rd Street East and two timber structures within Moodyville Park.
- Reduced congestion on the local road network.
- Reduced noise pollution, such as train whistles at road/rail crossings and rail shunting.
- Increased safety and benefits to quality of life for the area by addressing long standing safety, recreation and noise challenges associated with port operations along the previous Low Level Road, to the benefit of community members, cyclists and port users.
- Expanded terminal facilities that will increase provincial and municipal tax revenues.
- Enhanced access for emergency service providers (police, fire, ambulance).
- Enhanced rail and port operations, including additional cargo capacity by increasing mainline rail and rail yard capacity.
- Enhanced support for Canadian forestry, mining and agriculture sectors who export through North Shore terminals.
- Improved access to terminal facilities for commercial traffic.
- Increased rail and road capacity, enabling longer train lengths.
- Improved road connections to industries bordering the rail tracks.
Government of Canada
Port Metro Vancouver
Canadian National Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway
City of North Vancouver
SOURCE Transport Canada
For further information: Contacts: Zach Segal, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, Ottawa, 613-991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055; John Parker-Jervis, Media & Government Affairs Advisor, Port Metro Vancouver, 604-665-9267; TransLink, Media Relations, email@example.com, 778-375-7788; Connie Rabold, Communications Manager, City of North Vancouver, 604-341-6648; Emily Hamer, Regional Manager, CN Public and Government Affairs, 604-240-7037