Vancouver mulls future of Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts
The thousands of people who drive across Vancouver's Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts every day may need to find a new route – the city is considering whether the roadways should be torn down.
Councillor Geoff Meggs told CTV News it's important to investigate what place, if any, the viaducts should have in Vancouver's future.
"It's our last chance to see if a piece of infrastructure built in the '70s is going to play a positive role in the 21st century," he said.
On Tuesday, councillors will vote on whether to spend $700,000 to study six options for the viaducts, including tearing down both or linking them together.
Meggs denied motorists' concerns that removing the viaducts would increase traffic congestion heading into the city's core.
"It shouldn't be worse for people coming downtown, but we can't make guarantees to maintain the same volume of automobile traffic in the city indefinitely and we never have" he said.
"In fact, the number of people coming down by car is declining, and was of course sharply down by the Olympics, so we know it can be done a different way."
It's not just the idea of getting more people on transit that's pushing council to consider the idea – all the valuable real estate under the viaducts is owned by the city, and could sell for millions of dollars to developers.
Even if the city chooses to demolish both viaducts, the final decision won't be made for at least a year -- and it could be even longer before any ground is broken.
TransLink is also a stakeholder, and would have to give its approval as well.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Penny Daflos