Burnaby cyclists will soon have a safer way to cross the Gilmore Diversion over Highway 1.
City council approved a plan on Monday to construct a multi-use path separated from traffic by a concrete barrier on the west side of the overpass. One lane of northbound traffic will be removed to make way for the new infrastructure.
Coun. Joe Keithley said he would feel comfortable biking over the overpass with his young grandson once a concrete barrier was in place to protect him from passing vehicles.
The new lane was first designed by city staff in 2015 but was shelved as the city hoped to have the entire overpass replaced by the province. But a recent letter from the Ministry of Transportation indicated it wouldn’t be replaced for another 20 to 25 years.
According to Burnaby city staff, the overpass built in 1964 has the lowest clearance of any overpass between Vancouver and Hope and has been repeatedly struck by trucks on the highway.
The 3.5-metre-wide multi-use path will be open to pedestrians and cyclists going both northbound and southbound.
“The lane closure would extend from Myrtle Street in the north to Dominion Street in the south, providing space for the (path) not just on the overpass but on the approaches as well,” city staff explain in a report to council.
In 2015, “analysis indicated that traffic operations with only one northbound lane would be reasonable until the overpass was ultimately replaced, but there would be some traffic delays,” staff wrote.
The project’s estimated cost is $3 million. TransLink committed $790,000 to the project in 2015, which expires at the end of 2019.
Staff plan to advance the project as quickly as possible to take advantage of the funding, with construction estimated to complete in 2020.