Viaduct removal not a done deal, says B.C. transportation minister

B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone said the City of Vancouver's plan to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts is not a done deal, despite last night's vote.

Part of viaducts on provincial land, says Todd Stone, and no meaningful conversations have happened

B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone says the City of Vancouver's plan to remove the viaducts is not a done deal. (CBC)

B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone said the City of Vancouver needs to "cool down" on its plan to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts.

Last night, city councillors voted 5-4 to remove the viaducts, which are a major route into downtown Vancouver from the east side.

Mayor Gregor Robertson called the plan a "once-in-a-generation city-building opportunity," but the province, which owns some of the land beneath the viaducts, may have other plans.

"I checked with my officials and it has been a number of years since the city took any meaningful steps to reach out to PAVCO which owns and operates B.C. place," said Stone.

Stone said the province wants to address concerns about access and soil remediation.

The city's vote is no surprise; it's spent years mulling a plan to tear down the vestigial highways and replace them with condos, parks, and at-grade streets.

Stone said provincial officials didn't attend the more than 50 public meetings about the plan over the summer, as it was up to the city to come to them.

But Robertson said city staff had met with PavCo at least eight times over the past two years. 

With files from Richard Zussman

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