City council approves next phase of viaducts’ future

Removing the viaducts could make way for affordable housing. (RENDERING SUBMITTED)

Residents had a chance to address Vancouver city council Wednesday before it voted unanimously to go ahead with a study of the proposal to tear down the Dunsmuir and Georgia viaducts to make way for surface roads, parks and developments.

Thirty-seven people were scheduled to comment at the Planning, Transportation and Environment Committee meeting before the motion passed.

The proposal has been controversial, but many of the speakers at Wednesday’s meeting were in favour of going ahead with the study and applause erupted when council gave the study the go-ahead.

“We believe the study for the removal of the viaduct may well produce a solution we will all be part of,” Concord Pacific senior VP of development Peter Webb told council. “I think this could be the lightning rod that helps everyone get through it.”

If passed, an area plan study for the land underneath the two viaducts leading into downtown Vancouver would have a budget of $2.4 million.

Residents in the Strathcona area to the east of the viaducts have expressed concerns about increased traffic and costs associated with tearing down the two spans.

A vote to actually tear down the viaducts would not be before council for another two years and the spans themselves would likely not be torn down until at least 2017.

 

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