The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (the port authority), in collaboration with the City of Pitt Meadows and Canadian Pacific (CP), is leading the Pitt Meadows Road and Rail Improvements Project. The project will separate road and rail traffic at Harris Road. This will make local commutes faster and safer, improve community connections through more reliable traffic flow and improve emergency response times.
The City is:
- Working closely with the port authority and CP to ensure the Harris Road underpass meet the needs of the community—including improved public safety, reduced congestion, more reliable commutes, and better emergency response times.
- Working with project partners to implement feasible noise and vibration mitigation options, long-term effects on traffic and changes to the character of the community, and improve livability for all who live and work in Pitt Meadows.
- Working with the Pitt Meadows Heritage and Museum Society to find a new location for the Hoffmann & Son Machine Shop and the General Store.
Help shape the future of Harris Road
Starting June 28, 2022, people who live, work, and play in Pitt Meadows are invited to share your ideas as part of engagement for the Harris Road underpass, a component of the Pitt Meadows Road and Rail Improvements Project.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is pleased to return to in-person engagement with the community. As part of this phase of engagement, the port authority will share:
- A draft design for the Harris Road underpass
- An update on noise and vibration mitigation
As of June 28, 2022, help shape the future of Harris Road by:
- Attending the Pitt Meadows Engagement and Priorities Committee meeting on June 28, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
- Learn more by visiting pittmeadows.ca/councilmeetings
- Attending an in-person open house in Pitt Meadows
- June 29, 2022 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Pitt Meadows Family Recreation Centre
- July 13, 2022 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the South Bonson Community Centre
- Reading the discussion guide at portvancouver.com/pittmeadowsengagement
- Submitting the questionnaire by July 19, 2022 at portvancouver.com/pittmeadowsengagement
- Asking the port authority project team questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
New video: Learn about proposed rail improvements near Harris Road
During the project’s last two updates in spring and fall 2021, the community shared that a video would be helpful to visualize CP’s rail improvements and better understand what is proposed.
Watch CP’s new video to understand:
- How CP rail operations look today in Pitt Meadows
- What the proposed rail improvements mean for the future
Click below to learn more
If you are interested in learning more about CP’s rail improvements:
- Read the track configuration update brochure (spring 2021) and
- Read CP’s rail configuration questions and answers document (spring 2021)
- For questions about CP’s rail operations visit cpr.ca.
- Contact CP Community Connect at Community_Connect@cpr.ca.
Pitt Meadows is home to two of the busiest rail crossings in the Lower Mainland. Currently, these two rail crossings are blocked for an average of 3.5 hours and 1.75 hours each day due to trains. With increasing trade volumes, train traffic in Pitt Meadows is forecasted to double over the next 10 years. As a result, blockages at Harris Road increase to 6.7-7 hours per day.
Project Features and Benefits
The Pitt Meadows Road and Rail Improvements Project provides many benefits to our community. Eliminating the at-grade rail crossing at Harris Road will:
- enhance emergency response for police, fire and ambulance services;
- make commutes faster and safer;
- reduce vehicle emissions and congestion; and
- foster community connections and make Pitt Meadows a more livable city.
The project includes:
- A new four-lane underpass below the CP main rail crossing at Harris Road.
- A new two-lane overpass on Kennedy Road over the main rail line entrance to CP’s Vancouver Intermodal Facility.*
*Note: Work on the Kennedy Road overpass has been paused with priority being given to the Harris Road underpass. Read the full media release.
The project also includes the relocation of Museum and heritage buildings to create a heritage site.
As part of the project, CP is building:
- A 6,000 feet extension of the existing lead track that accesses the Vancouver Intermodal Facility, east across Harris Road.
- An additional 10,000 feet of new siding track on the north side of the existing tracks between Harris Road and Kennedy Road.
- Neither the port authority nor the City of Pitt Meadows has jurisdiction over rail operations or infrastructure decisions within the rail corridor.
- CP can build the lead track extension and rail siding track without collaboration with the port authority or the City as long as they meet applicable federal regulations/laws.
CP is proposing a new logistics park south of its existing intermodal facility in Pitt Meadows. This is not part of the Pitt Meadows Road and Rail Improvements Project.
CP must follow a different and distinct process for its proposed logistics park. CP is leading its independent public engagement on its proposed logistics park, outside of our community engagement around the Pitt Meadows Road and Rail Improvements Project.
The City’s Role
The City of Pitt Meadows is collaborating with the port authority and CP to ensure this project meets the needs of our community. The City’s role includes:
- Working with the port authority on technical aspects of the Harris Road underpass and related public space options.
- Working with the Pitt Meadows Heritage and Museum Society to find a new location for the Hoffmann & Son Machine Shop and the General Store to align with the City’s longer-term vision.
- Maintaining the public-serving portions of the Harris Road underpass (not the structure supporting the rail*) when complete.
*CP would own and maintain the structure supporting the rail tracks.
History of the Harris Road Underpass
The Harris Road crossing has been a concern among residents and discussed by City staff and councils since the 1970s. This infographic provides an overall at-a-glace visual timeline of the history and evolution of road and rail discussions for the City of Pitt Meadows, spanning from the 1970s until 2021 including key topics, meetings, and engagement opportunities. More information is available here.
Public Engagement and Resources
Frequently Asked Questions
When was the project initiated?
2017 - The Greater Vancouver Gateway Council submits the Pitt Meadows Road and Rail Improvements Project for funding to the National Trade Corridors Fund.
What is Council’s position?
City Council unanimously supports continued discussions on the Pitt Meadows Road and Rail Improvements Project with the goal of securing an appropriate design and construction agreement.
Who is leading the project?
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (port authority) is the lead for the underpass and overpass. CP is leading the rail components.
What is the City’s role?
The City of Pitt Meadows is working closely with the port authority and CP to ensure changes to Harris Road meet the needs of our community by:
- Exploring feasible noise and vibration mitigation options;
- Managing longer-term changes on traffic and character of the community; and
- Finding a suitable location for the Hoffmann and Son Machine Shop and the Old General Store Museum buildings.
Who is providing funding?
$141 million in funding is being provided by Government of Canada, CP and the port authority. This project is part of the Greater Vancouver Gateway 2030 and is funded by the Government of Canada through the National Trade Corridors Fund, the port authority, and CP. The City is not funding capital costs associated with the project.
Who has the authority to determine if the project proceeds?
The decision to proceed to project construction will be required by the City, the port authority, and CP. CP, at their sole discretion, can choose to proceed with the rail components with or without the project or the City’s approval or collaboration (including a third rail across Harris Road), provided the railway line is built within CP’s right of way and complies with federal regulations. Before construction of the Harris Road underpass can begin, the City, CP and the port authority must agree to and sign two binding documents: the Project Partnering Agreement (formerly Design Agreement) and the Construction Agreement.
Can CP build within their own right of way?
Neither the port authority nor the City of Pitt Meadows has jurisdiction over rail operations or infrastructure decisions within the rail corridor. Per Canada Transportation Act 95(1) and 98(3), CP can build the rail components without approval or collaboration with the port authority or the City, as long as CP meets applicable federal regulations.