Vancouver drivers should expect delays and closures on and around the Burrard Bridge for the next year and a half while the city gives the bridge a $58 million upgrade.
Construction started at the end of February and is expected to continue until mid-2017, stretching from Burrard and Davie in downtown Vancouver, across the aging bridge, up to 17th and Burrard on the city's West Side.
The project includes bridge upgrades, safety improvements, water main replacements and other changes.
The city says people will still be able to access businesses in the area throughout the 18-month project.
"If you destination is in that immediate area, you will still be able to get into access the business or to access your home," said Jerry Dobrovolny, general manager of engineering with the City of Vancouver.
"But if your destination is somewhere beyond and you're just driving through the area, use the Granville Bridge, use the Cambie Bridge and leave a little bit of extra time and you will avoid a lot of frustration."
Lane and road closures
This month, drivers should expect:
- Burrard Street restricted to one lane southbound between Harwood and Pacific downtown.
- Partial traffic closures at Burrard and Pacific over the Easter weekend (March 25-28).
- Sections of Burrard St. from Cornwall to 17th Avenue reduced to two lanes from six.
Starting in April, some full road closures are expected on the Burrard corridor between Cornwall Ave. and 17th Avenue.
Bridge stays open
Burrard Bridge will stay open to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians throughout construction. Starting in May, there will be be reduced lanes at times, and drivers, walkers and cyclists are being told to expect delays.
The construction project will tackle several longstanding problems at once, according to the city:
- Improved safety at Burrard and Pacific, the second-highest collision location in Vancouver.
- Pedestrian access to both sides of Burrard Bridge.
- Replace aging infrastructure, such as water mains and sidewalks.
The plan was approved by city council last year after public consultation.
Upgrades to the bridge will cost the city $58 million in total.
- Burrard South (Cornwall to 16th) water and sewer infrastructure upgrades - $16 million.
- Burrard North (Davie to Pacific) water and sewer infrastructure upgrades - $7 million.
- Burrard Bridge upgrades and Burrard/Pacific intersection safety improvements - $35 million.