The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, which operates the Port of Vancouver in British Columbia, has announced the completion and opening of the upgraded Mountain Highway underpass on Vancouver’s North Shore.
The underpass, adjacent to Lynnterm Terminal in the District of North Vancouver, was to vehicle traffic as of November.
“Contributing to new road and rail infrastructure will help ease the impacts of growing trade on local communities, while fulfilling the port authority’s federal mandate to enable Canada’s trade through the Port of Vancouver,” the Port Authority said in a statement.
The project was jointly funded by Transport Canada and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, and was led by the Port Authority in collaboration with Western Stevedoring, the District of North Vancouver, Canadian National Railway and the Squamish Nation indigenous government.
It is expected to enhance the movement of trade-related cargo through Greater Vancouver, while improving mobility and safety, protecting the environment, and alleviating the community impacts of growing trade.
Specific project benefits, according to the Port Authority, include:
Better trade efficiency for the gateway: enabling the trade gateway to operate more efficiently and handle anticipated trade growth.
Port of entry capacity at Lynnterm Terminal for oversized cargo: the terminal’s new capacity to service oversized cargo provides the industry with assurance that the Port of Vancouver can continue to be a competitive port for oversized cargo.
Safe pedestrian access: new sidewalks, both along the underpass and between Dominion Street and Bay Street, leading into Lynnterm Terminal’s east gate, ensure safer and more comfortable access and use for pedestrians.
“The completion of the Mountain Highway Underpass is another milestone in the Government of Canada’s efforts to enhance Canada’s transportation infrastructure and ensure greater long-term efficiency for our supply chains,” federal Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said in a statement.
“Investing in transportation infrastructure through the National Trade Corridors Fund is an important part of growing Canada’s economy, while providing more jobs and ensuring the continued movement of goods across Canada,” Alghabra said.
District of North Vancouver Mayor Mike Little said that one of the biggest challenges facing his community is providing the necessary transportation infrastructure for its economy to stay strong, and to grow, and that this project goes a long way in helping to alleviate the issue.
“By deepening the underpass at Mountain Highway, partners on this project ensured the Lynnterm Terminal can accommodate oversized cargo,” he said, “which in turn will increase import and export capacity and trade opportunities.”
“More efficient movement of cargo also helps to reduce impact of trade-related traffic congestion on our roadways,” Little continued. “We still have a lot to do to address our transportation needs in our community but projects like this are important steps forward.”
Dave Lucas, president or North Vancouver-based Western Stevedoring, said that with the deepening of the Mountain Highway underpass, one of the major bottlenecks for the transport of oversized cargoes has been significantly improved.
“Western Stevedoring is now able to attract and handle over-sized cargo for major projects in Western Canada that have previously been imported through U.S. ports,” he said.
“We are incredibly proud of the upgrades made on the Mountain Highway underpass,” Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Acting Vice-President, Real Estate, Jennifer Natland said. “Improvements to the underpass will enable the gateway to operate more efficiently and handle anticipated trade growth through the port for years to come.”
More information about the Mountain Highway Underpass Project is available at portvancouver.com/mountainhighwayunderpass.