Pitt Meadows Road and Rail Improvements Project
May 6, 2020
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority presented an update on the Pitt Meadows Road and Rail Improvements Project at the May 5, 2020 Regular Council Meeting, including the results from the first phase of public engagement.
Feedback from the first phase of engagement will be used by the Port Authority, along additional analysis, to inform planning, design and construction.
The next phase of public engagement is planned for summer 2020.
The Port Authority will invite feedback about design options for the Harris Road underpass and Kennedy Road overpass.
Pitt Meadows is home to two of the busiest rail crossings in the Lower Mainland.
The Pitt Meadows Road and Rail Improvements Project aims to eliminate two at-grade rail crossings at Harris Road and Kennedy Road. Currently, these respective crossings are blocked due to moving trains for 3.5 hours and 1.75 hours each day.
The goal of the project is to mitigate impacts of growing rail and port trade traffic on Pitt Meadows and to improve safety and access in the community with more reliable travel times and better emergency response options.
The improvements include a new:
- four-lane roadway underpass at Harris Road,
- two-lane roadway overpass at Kennedy Road, and
- siding track, including a new rail bridge over Katzie Slough.
Harris Road Underpass Kennedy Road Overpass
In May 2019, the City announced that the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority had signed a formal agreement with the Government of Canada to fund several rail and road improvements in Pitt Meadows.
Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the City, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and Canadian Pacific Railway in summer 2019.
The first phase of public engagement took place in October and November 2019.
The second phase of public engagement is anticipated to begin in June 2020 and will focus on draft designs for the project.
Final project approval is anticipated in 2021, and construction is expected to start in 2021 and be completed 2024.
Phase One – October and November 2019
The first phase of a three-phase public engagement process took place in October and November 2019 and included an open house and opportunity to share feedback online.
9 Stakeholder meetings 25 Emails ~200 Open house attendees 21 Social media posts 384 Questionnaire respondents 284 Comments on social media posts B
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is the lead agency for this project and has produced the following materials. Download the:
Phase Two – Summer 2020
Check back for updates.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the federal agency that is responsible for stewardship of the lands and waters that comprise the Port of Vancouver, is a funding partner and the lead agency for this project.
Canadian Pacific (CP) owns and operates the Vancouver Intermodal Facility located in Pitt Meadows. As a project funding partner, CP plans to extend an existing track leading into and out of the Vancouver Intermodal Facility.
The City of Pitt Meadows is working with the Port Authority and CP to ensure that the Kennedy Road overpass and Harris Road underpass meet the needs of the community, including improved safety, enhanced access and connections, reduced travel times, and better emergency response. They are also working with project partners to explore feasible noise and vibration mitigation options and secure a new location for the Hoffmann and Son Machine Shop and Old General Store (Museum).
Council is committed to addressing concerns about noise mitigation, minimizing construction impacts to Harris Road businesses, and preserving heritage in Pitt Meadows.
The total project cost, including new rail siding and a new rail bridge over Katzie Slough, is anticipated be $141.1 million.
One hundred per cent of the project funding is being provided by the Government of Canada through the National Trade Corridors Fund, and other project partners, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and Canadian Pacific.
The first phase of public engagement will take place from October 21 to November 22, 2019, and will provide opportunities to talk to project staff in person at the open house as well as a month-long period to provide input online. Read the full media release here.
Mayor and Council have endorsed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and Canadian Pacific for an underpass at Harris Road and an overpass at Kennedy Road.
“Council will continue to advocate through the design and construction phases of the project to ensure that we get an underpass and overpass that our community will be proud of,” says Mayor Bill Dingwall. “Staff and Council are working closely with the port authority and CP to address noise from rail operations that remains a priority for Council as well the appropriate relocation of our heritage buildings and assurances for business continuity during construction of the Harris Road and Kennedy Road transportation improvements.”
Read the full news release here.
At the Engagment and Priorities Commitee Meeting on July 9, 2019, Samantha Maki, Director of Engineering and Operations, provided a high-level update on the Harris Road Underpass and Kennedy Road Overpass projects, including funding, timelines, scope of work, the City's responsibilities, engagement and next steps.
To view a video of the presentation, click here.
On May 31, 2019, it was annouced that two highly anticipated rail crossing projects in Pitt Meadows are one step closer to construction, as the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority signed a formal agreement with the Government of Canada to receive $48.8 million for the project and announces its own commitment to fund $39.1 million toward the project as a partner agency.
These crossings will separate road traffic from rail traffic and include a new four-lane underpass at Harris Road and a two-lane overpass at Kennedy Road.
“This announcement represents the culmination of a great deal of collaborative work by each of the organizations over the past seven months,” said Mayor Bill Dingwall. “Rail grade separations will mean that all emergency services will be able to get to incidents faster and public safety will be greatly improved. Commutes will be become more reliable and ultimately, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians will find it much easier to move around our community.”
Council is committed to addressing concerns about noise mitigation as well as minimizing construction impacts to Harris Road businesses. Council will continue to advocate for the best interests of the community as the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) is finalized. Residents will have an opportunity to learn more and to ask questions at an upcoming Engagement and Priorities Committee (EPC) meeting, prior to adoption of the MOU.
“Council is committed to the preservation of heritage in Pitt Meadows,” says Mayor Bill Dingwall. “The City has already engaged the Pitt Meadows Heritage and Museum Society in discussions about desirable relocation sites for heritage buildings.”
The project, including new rail siding and a new rail bridge over Katzie Slough, is anticipated to cost $141.1 million. 100 percent of the costs for the design and construction will be covered by other partners. As a next step, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is working closely with Canadian Pacific to finalize agreements for final funding and project implementation.
On December 18, 2018, Mayor Dingwall and Council hosted a dialogue with MP Dan Ruimy, MLA Lisa Beare and Katzie First Nation as well as representatives from Canadian Pacific, Greater Vancouver Gateway 2030, TransLink, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) to further discuss federal and provincial transportation projects in the community.
“This meeting was a positive step toward improving transportation infrastructure in Pitt Meadows,” said Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall. “Council is committed to engaging with the community and moving forward in a transparent way that is reflective of advocacy for our community.”
Council remains committed to engaging with the community and moving forward in a transparent way that is reflective of advocacy for Pitt Meadows. Mayor and Council are working toward resolving outstanding issues such as noise and vibration from rail operations, the preservation of heritage buildings and achieving no financial impact to Pitt Meadows as we move toward contemplating a memorandum of understanding.
Proposed Project Concepts
On November 13, 2018, Chris Chok from Kirk and Co. provided the Engagement Summary Report – The Future of Transportation in Pitt Meadows to Council. A total of 162 people attended the open house and 206 submitted online or printed feedback forms. Overall there was strong support for Harris Road underpass and Kennedy Road overpass. Issues raised during the small group session included the need to engage with the Pitt Meadows Heritage Society about relocating the Pitt Meadows Museum and General Store, concerns about noise and vibration from rail operations, enhancements and beautification of the proposed Harris Road underpass, and safety on Lougheed Highway.
Here are the summary report and supplemental information from those engagement sessions.
From June 18 to July 31, 2018, the City of Pitt Meadows hosted an engagement process related to transportation infrastructure. The City brought together all of the organizations with a role in various aspects of transportation planning and investment in the community. On June 25, residents were invited to attend an open house / small group engagement where they could learn more and provide feedback about a variety of proposed railway infrastructure, transit and highway and road improvements in Pitt Meadows.
On May 18, 2018, $55.8 million in federal investment was announced toward four new rail infrastructure project bundles within Metro Vancouver. The City of Pitt Meadows is host to one project bundle, including, an addition of nearly 5km of track paralleling the existing rail track throughout Pitt Meadows, a four lane underpass at Harris Road, and construction of a two lane overpass at Kennedy Road which is estimated to cost $141 million.
March 28, 2018, the City released a detailed set of Principles and Interests which serve to guide any further partnerships related to transportation improvements in Pitt Meadows. One of the key principles is that the City of Pitt Meadows does not have the financial capacity to fund regional initiatives.
On January 9, 2018, the Gateway Transportation Collaboration Forum (GTCF) presented to Council the status of proposed infrastructure projects affecting the Pitt Meadows community. These projects included a Harris Road underpass, Kennedy Road overpass and an interchange at Allen Way. At the time, GTCF had submitted a proposal for the Harris Road underpass and the Kennedy Road overpass projects to the federal government for funding under the National Trade Corridors Fund. The projects in Pitt Meadows are part of the nearly 40 projects proposed as part of the Greater Vancouver Gateway 2030, intended to provide national, provincial, regional and local benefits.
View the Council meeting presentation by GTCF, including information and renderings of the proposed projects, and the Council discussion afterward.