TransLink announces $65M for transportation infrastructure
TransLink has announced $65 million in investments aimed at improving transportation infrastructure and reducing congestion across Metro Vancouver.
“Whether you’re walking, cycling, using a wheelchair or any other mobility device, investments like this are connecting our communities,” CEO Kevin Desmond said at an event in North Vancouver Friday.
The transportation company said $23 million of that money will go towards 51 projects, including:
- The completion of a multi-use path along West Keith Road in North Vancouver
- Roadway widening, streetlights and new bike lanes in Delta
- Separate bike lanes along 100 Avenue in Surrey
- A new park and multi-use path along Willingdon Avenue in Burnaby
“These projects will soon join a list of 330 completed roads, cycling and pedestrian improvement projects across the region since 2008,” Desmond said.
North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto said the city is “very happy” with the announcement, adding that these projects will not only help reduce congestion, but advance environmental goals.
“It highlights the importance of our safe and active transportation strategy,” Mussatto said Friday. “We encourage people to walk, cycle or take public transit whenever they can over the use of an automobile.”
Others said the investment is the right step towards solving Metro Vancouver’s transportation problems as the region’s population grows.
“This government is pleased to be working in partnership with TransLink and the Mayors’ Council to develop lasting, effective and fair solutions to the region’s transportation needs,” said North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma.
“Investment in Metro Vancouver’s major road network will help provide safer roads and the bike paths needed to improve the daily lives of people travelling in the region.”
Friday’s announcement, however, made no mention of the region’s larger-scale infrastructure and congestion concerns such as the Golden Ears and Pattullo bridges–both of which are operated by TransLink—nor did it address how the funding would help reduce rush-hour traffic between Vancouver and the North Shore on the Lions Gate and Ironworkers bridges.
The remaining $41.8 million will go towards maintaining and rehabilitating the Major Roads Network (MRN), a 600-kilometre system that connects provincial highways and local roads across Metro Vancouver. The network also includes many bike lanes and multi-use paths.
Desmond said the transportation company intends to roll out another $130 million on similar projects in 2018 and 2019 as part of its commitment to the “10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation”—framework that outlines the region’s transportation goals and needs from now until 2026.