Pitt Meadows Road and Rail Improvements

Pitt Meadows is home to two of the busiest rail crossings in the lower mainland. The Pitt Meadows Road and Rail Improvement project will aim to eliminate the rail crossings at Harris Road and Kennedy Road. Currently, these crossings are blocked each day by moving trains for an average of:

  • One hour and 45 minutes at Kennedy Road
  • Three hours and 30 minutes at Harris Road

Upcoming engagement:

The first phase of public engagement is now open until November 22, 2019.

Participate in online engagement

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Email: [email protected]

Our goal is to mitigate the impacts of growing rail and port trade traffic on Pitt Meadows. These changes will improve safety and community access by creating more reliable travel times and better emergency response options.

The project includes:

  • A new four-lane underpass at the Canadian Pacific (CP) main rail line crossing at Harris Road.
  • A new two-lane overpass at the main rail line entrance to CP’s Vancouver Intermodal Facility, replacing the level rail crossing at Kennedy Road.
  • An extension of one of CP’s existing rail tracks, which serves the Intermodal Facility.

The port authority is now focusing on working with Indigenous groups, municipalities and other stakeholders to undertake technical studies and engagement, advance project design and plan for project construction.

 

Photo of Harris Road today

Rendering of underpass at Harris Road, final design still to be determined

Project benefits

The port authority has a positive track record of delivering high-quality projects based on best practices in environmental sustainability, environmental protection, and engagement. Anticipated benefits of this project include:

Improved public safety
Reduces risk of collisions between trains and people walking, cycling and driving.
Reduced congestion
Improves mobility for local residents and more efficient goods movement.
Better emergency response
Allows first police, fire, and ambulance to get to incidents faster and more easily
Reduced GHG emissions
Elimination of wait times for vehicles atwww.portvancouver.com/ train crossings means reduced emissions and reduced energy requirements.
More reliable commute times
Improves reliability of roads because they will not be blocked by rail traffic.
Increased job opportunities 
Growth in trade means growth in local jobs.
Reduced noise
Separating the crossings allows for reduced noise as the bells at crossing gates will no longer be required.
Accommodating trade growth
Increasing capacity to move Canadian products to foreign markets, and foreign products to Canadian consumers, safely and more efficiently

The port authority will also work with the local community and Indigenous groups to identify opportunities for:

Public space improvements
Create public space improvements such as inclusion of Indigenous cultural recognition, public art, integration of native species in landscaping plans, etc.
Improved connections for walking and cycling
Enhance walking and cycling facilities associated with the crossings.

Project partner roles

Successfully delivering this project will require strong collaboration with the City of Pitt Meadows, local Indigenous groups, and CP, and we will be working closely with them to ensure the project addresses their particular needs.

This project has three partners:

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
The port authority is providing overall project management and ensuring best practice in engagement and environmental protection.

Canadian Pacific (CP)
CP owns and operates the Vancouver Intermodal Facility located in Pitt Meadows. CP plans to extend an existing track leading into and out the Vancouver Intermodal Facility. They are providing funding to the project. Learn more about CP.

City of Pitt Meadows
The City of Pitt Meadows is collaborating with the port authority and CP to ensure the project meets the needs of the community and has agreed to owning and maintaining the Kennedy Road overpass and the public serving portions of the Harris Road underpass (not the structure supporting the rail tracks) when complete. The city is also helping to secure a new location for the Hoffmann and Son Machine Shop and the Old General Store.

Timeline

The below timeline shows historical events as well as the project’s anticipated timeline. Dates subject to change.

  • 2017 – Project submitted to the National Trade Corridors Fund for funding
  • 2018 – Early public engagement held in Pitt Meadows on the future of transportation in the city
  • 2018 – The Government of Canada grants funding to design and build the project through the National Trade Corridors Fund
  • October 21- November 22, 2019 – First phase of public engagement → (we are here)
  • Spring 2020 – Second phase of public engagement
  • TBC 2020 – Final phase of public engagement
  • 2021 – Final project approval
  • 2021 – Construction anticipated to begin
  • 2024 – Anticipated project completion

We acknowledge that while port-related developments may provide local, regional, and national benefits, they may also have potential negative effects on those who live, work or operate in and around port areas.

Our approach to public consultation is based on two-way communication and open dialogue, working together to ensure the community, the environment and the economy are all considered during project planning.

Phase one of a three phase engagement process

Phase one public engagement now open (October 21 – November 22, 2019)
We are inviting those who live, work, and play in Pitt Meadows to share their ideas with us. This is the first of a three-phase public engagement process to ensure the community is engaged and involved in every step of the project, and has opportunities to provide feedback to the project team.

Previous engagement

Future of Transportation in Pitt Meadows (2018) public engagement and consultation documents
June 2018 – Public open house display boards [PDF]
August 2018 – Engagement Summary Report – Future of Transportation in Pitt Meadows [PDF]

This table reflects what we have heard from residents and stakeholders to date and how we are acting on that feedback. This feedback was provided primarily through the City of Pitt Meadows’ Future of Transportation engagement in 2018, as well as through one-on-one stakeholder meetings over the summer and fall of 2019.

This table will be updated in late 2019, following phase one of public engagement, to reflect what we heard during the October 21-November 22 engagement period.

What we have heard What we have done to date
Engage early and often with the heritage and museum society about relocating the Hoffmann
and Son Machine Shop and the Old General Store. 
When funding was confirmed, the port authority began discussions with the heritage and museum society to discuss relocating these two sites.

Working with the heritage and museum society, we developed a letter of commitment that outlines how we will work together, including confirmation that the port authority will fund the move so the project does not cause undue burden to the heritage and museum society.

Create opportunities for community enhancement and beautification as part of the Harris Road underpass, including Indigenous artwork, pedestrian and cycling facilities, landscaping, and improved access to businesses on Harris Road. We are in the process of engaging an urban design firm to complete a review of the project area. This team will work to develop different options informed by your feedback throughout this engagement process.

We have also completed an archaeological assessment of the area and are preparing to do a geotechnical assessment next month. Additionally, we are consulting with Katzie First Nation and other local Indigenous groups to identify what opportunities they may see through this project.

Address concerns about managing traffic during and after construction. While we are very early in the design process, managing construction and its impact on the community is a priority, and we will be developing a traffic management strategy to mitigate the traffic impacts of construction on the community and studying future traffic patterns and volumes.

We will complete a baseline study, and model future traffic volumes and train crossing frequencies.

Explore ways to maintain or enhance the historical characteristics of Harris Road. We learned more about the rich history of Pitt Meadows from the heritage and museum society and the importance of heritage recognition in the community. This engagement process is an opportunity for you to share your ideas about how we can reflect those characteristics in the design.
Address concerns about noise and vibration from existing and future expansion of CP operations, and the need to explore opportunities to mitigate this as part of this project. As part of the project, we have hired acoustic experts to study current noise and vibration levels and model future levels. This information will be used to explore and inform opportunities for noise and vibration mitigation with the city and CP.
The city does not have the capacity to contribute to the capital costs of the project. The port authority, city and CP agreed that all capital costs associated with the project (including the relocation of the Hoffmann and Son Machine Shop and the Old General Store) will be paid for by the three funding partners. In return, the city will own and maintain the Kennedy Road overpass and the public serving portions of the Harris Road underpass (not the structure supporting rail tracks).
Be mindful of the impact to businesses. We understand that business owners, especially those with businesses along Harris Road, are concerned about project impacts to their operations. We have already met with several business owners to understand their concerns and how they operate. We intend to meet with the owners of all businesses that may be impacted during construction.

If you are a business owner or operator and would like to set up a meeting, please email us at
[email protected]

Funding partners

This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s National Trade Corridors Fund, CP, and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

Part of Greater Vancouver Gateway 2030