Lower Mainland improvements pave way for expanded global trade
VANCOUVER, July 23, 2014 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada and its partners today celebrated two significant road projects in the South Shore Trade Area (SSTA) of Burrard Inlet, which are in their final stages and will enhance truck, rail, and port operations while reducing impacts to local communities.
The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, was joined by Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver; Robin Silvester, President & Chief Executive Officer of Port Metro Vancouver; and Marcella Szel, Board Chair of TransLink, to mark the substantial completion of the Powell Street Grade Separation project and the South Shore Corridor project.
The SSTA is an important import and export corridor that provides a critical connection to markets overseas. Improvements to transportation infrastructure will allow the SSTA to meet demands in the near, medium and long term, while increasing the capacity and efficiency of port, rail and trucking operations.
The new SSTA projects will help to meet expected growth in rail and road traffic and enhance safety. Benefits include:
- safer access to terminal facilities for commercial traffic;
- elimination of rail/road conflicts at 11 rail crossings, improving safety and reducing rail related noise;
- more efficient and reliable movements of grain for Canadian exporters who use South Shore terminals;
- improved flow of import and export container traffic to and from container terminals;
- reduced congestion and increased safety on the local road network;
- better access for emergency service providers (police, fire, ambulance);
- safer conditions for cyclists and pedestrians, and increased overall road safety and traffic management.
The projects have been made possible through the collaboration of multiple partners including: the City of Vancouver, Port Metro Vancouver, the terminal operators, Canadian Pacific (CP), TransLink, and Canadian National Railway (CN).
- The Powell Street Grade Separation project eliminates a busy at-grade road/rail crossing between Powell Street and the railway network that serves the SSTA and delivers important improvements on a major road in the City of Vancouver, with significant transit, pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular traffic. The total cost of the Powell Street Grade Separation was $50 million, with a federal government contribution of $18.5 million under the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Transportation Infrastructure Fund (APGCTIF), in partnership with Port Metro Vancouver ($19.5 million), CP ($4.5 million), the City of Vancouver ($3.75 million), and TransLink ($3.75M). While the project is substantially complete, some finishing work will continue through August.
- The South Shore Corridor project provides a reliable and continuous road connection through Port Metro Vancouver. It includes the Steward Street Elevated Road which has eliminated rail/road conflicts at 10 at-grade road-rail crossings and has improved rail and road access to the terminals in the area. It also enables longer trains and more efficient rail operations, reduces train-related noise, reduces local road congestion and shortens wait times for trucks and other vehicles. The total cost of the South Shore Corridor project was $75 million, with a federal government contribution of $31.2 million under the APGCTIF, in partnership with Port Metro Vancouver ($21.5 million), the terminal operators ($15 million), CP ($5.3 million), and CN ($2 million).
- The Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI) aims to make Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway the best transportation network for facilitating global supply chains between North America and Asia. To date, the Government of Canada has invested approximately $1.4 billion in APGCI infrastructure projects, in partnership with all four western provinces, municipalities and the private sector, for a total project value of approximately $3.5 billion.
"Together with our partners, our government has delivered on infrastructure projects along the south shore of Burrard Inlet that will help boost trade between Canada and the Asia-Pacific region. These projects will improve the flow of truck and rail container traffic at Port Metro Vancouver and increase capacity to support our growing trade. Local communities will also benefit from reduced traffic and noise pollution, along with increased safety for pedestrian and cyclists."
The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport
"With the City of Vancouver having contributed $3.75 million, the Powell Street Overpass project is a strong example of the kind of strategic infrastructure partnerships that can grow Vancouver's economy and improve our transportation network. The rail network enhancements enabled by this investment will help strengthen Vancouver's economic competitiveness by supporting more effective movement of goods through Vancouver and the Port. In addition, the project will benefit neighbourhoods along the Powell Street corridor by reducing congestion, traffic noise, and pollution, and by making significant improvements to access and safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and commuters."
Mayor of the City of Vancouver
"Demand for Canadian trade is growing, and Port Metro Vancouver continually strives to balance the growth in trade with the need to protect our environment and respect the quality of life for our neighbours. The South Shore of Burrard Inlet represents a vibrant and unique area of Vancouver where industry, commercial businesses and residents coexist. The South Shore Corridor Project enhances port operations and provides for future rail capacity, while reducing the impacts on the local community from rail-related noise and traffic congestion."
President & Chief Executive Officer
Port Metro Vancouver
"The trade supportive infrastructure now coming on line helps us provide more timely and efficient service for our customers. It is the outcome of a unique partnership between industry and government and it has achieved real results "
President and Chief Operating Officer, CP
"TransLink helps people get to where they need to go, whether they drive, ride, walk or take transit. We always look to participate in projects that improve connections, ease congestion and provide safe and accessible travel choices for people and the movement of goods. This is at the heart of TransLink's mandate."
Board Chair of TransLink
"CN is pleased to be a funding partner on this project that will help enhance the fluidity of rail traffic to the south shore and result in improvements to the supply chain."
Senior Vice President, Western Region, CN
For information on the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, visit: asiapacificgateway.gc.ca
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SOURCE Transport Canada