VANCOUVER – The city of Vancouver has released its recommended design for the Granville Bridge Connector.
City staff are recommending the “West Side Plus” design after receiving nearly 8,000 survey responses from the residents. Starting January 24, the public will have the opportunity to share final feedback before a proposed design is presented to City Council for decision.
“West Side Plus was by far the most popular option with the public during two previous rounds of engagement,” said Paul Storer, manager of transportation design. “People also shared ideas, many of which we’ve been able to incorporate, for improving the design to ensure it offers the best possible experience for users.”
The proposed design for the West Side Plus option includes wide, accessible sidewalks on both sides of the main span of the bridge, and a two-way bike lane on the west side. It also includes safety improvements at ramp crossings, and improvements at each end of the bridge to link the Connector to the rest of the area’s walking and cycling network. The design also leaves the bridge with enough capacity to accommodate transit vehicles and motorists.
“As the City’s population grows and climate-change concerns intensify, the need to offer sustainable travel options has never been more important,” added Storer. “This project will give people more travel options to and from downtown that don’t contribute to congestion or pollution.”
The changes are expected to facilitate growing needs for biking and walking infrastructure. In 2016, 18,000 residents and 17,000 jobs were within a five-minute walk of Granville Bridge and 90,000 residents and 125,000 jobs were within a five-minute bike ride. Despite being a direct route to and from downtown, city officials found discomfort, safety concerns and inaccessibility prevented many from walking or biking the bridge.
Officials expect biking and walking needs to increase with the city. Once the Granville Bridge Connector is completed, all three False Creek bridges will offer improved options for walking, rolling, and biking safely to and Vancouver’s downtown core.
The bridge is expected to cost $30-40 million, excluding means prevention fencing. Like many capital projects, the improvements will likely be delivered in phases and through partnerships.
The city’s current capital budget already includes $25 million for the Granville Bridge Connector. This spring, staff will present to Council a conceptual, phased budget for the project that will include the first phase of work that falls within the 2019-2022 capital budget.