British Columbia

Viaduct removal to be discussed at Vancouver city council in October

After years of mulling, Vancouver city council will consider next month whether to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts.

'These decisions have to be made now,' says Vancouver city councillor Geoff Meggs

The City of Vancouver is considering removing the raised Dunsmuir and Georgia Viaducts and replacing them with a network and streets and parks.

Vancouver city council will consider the future of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts next month after years of mulling the removal of the elevated arteries into downtown, said Coun. Geoff Meggs.

City staff will present a report in late October recommending the viaducts be removed, and replaced with an enhanced ground-level street network, park, and residential development, Meggs said.

Meggs made the comments at an event to update Vision Vancouver supporters on civic issues.

"We really are deciding now how we want this neighbourhood to look for ... 100 years."

The viaducts, which connect downtown to East Vancouver, were built as part of a planned freeway in the 1960s, that was eventually defeated by public opposition.

Meggs and Vision Vancouver have discussed removing the viaducts for at least five years. The councilor said staff heard widespread public support for the idea at over 50 meetings this summer.

"These decisions have to be made now, it's time."

NPA Coun. George Affleck said he will be waiting to see the cost of the proposal, and its impact on traffic.

"It can't cost taxpayers any extra money. So the money that comes from redevelopment of the site there will have to cover the cost of the dismantling of the viaducts," said Affleck.

"Second, I don't want to see traffic slowed down in any capacity."

The city staff report is expected to be presented to council in late October.

With files from Kirk Williams


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