North Shore Trade Area Upgrades

Six projects costing $283 million were completed, including:

  • Low Level Road realignment
  • Western Low Level Road route extension
  • Philip Avenue Overpass
  • Neptune/ Cargill grade separation
  • Lynn Creek Rail Bridge addition
  • Brooksbank Avenue Underpass

These projects enhanced rail and port operations, improved access to terminal facilities for commercial traffic, reduced congestion on the local road network, improved road safety, addressed slope stability concerns and furthered the Spirit Trail.

Project highlights

  • $283 million capital investment
  • $59 million industry contribution, pre-funded by the Port of Vancouver

In 2008, the North Shore Trade Area Study was conducted as part of Canada’s on-going effort to support the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative. Commissioned by Transport Canada, the Port of Vancouver, the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, TransLink and the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council, the North Shore Trade Area Study reviewed the transportation infrastructure issues in the area directly adjacent to the port terminals and Canadian National Railway corridor.

The objective was to find ways of enabling and supporting the continued growth of this strategic component of the Asia-Pacific Gateway while addressing some of the transportation issues affecting the local communities. The study’s ultimate goal was to assess the transportation and infrastructure conditions of the North Shore Trade Area in the current and future base years and to determine the transportation infrastructure improvements required to accommodate and enhance the trade development objectives with the least social, community and environmental impacts. Six projects were identified.

North Shore Trade Area Study Final [PDF]

Project benefits

Improved access and enhanced operations:

  • enhanced rail and port operations, including additional cargo capacity by increasing mainline rail and rail yard capacity
  • enhanced support for Canadian forestry, mining and agriculture sectors who export through North Shore terminals
  • more efficient rail operations and capacity to accommodate anticipated trade growth
  • accommodating anticipated growth in rail and road traffic
  • enabling terminal expansion plans on the North Shore
  • improved access to terminal facilities for commercial traffic
  • increased rail and road capacity, enabling longer train lengths
  • improved road connections to industries bordering the rail tracks

Quality of life and environmental:

  • reduced congestion on the local road network
  • increased employment on the North Shore and throughout the Lower Mainland
  • reduced noise pollution, such as train whistles at road/rail crossings and rail shunting
  • expanded terminal facilities that will increase Provincial and Municipal tax revenues
  • enhanced access for emergency service providers (police, fire, ambulance)
  • increased capacity for public projects such as the Spirit Trail multi-use pathway


Western Lower Level Route Extension

Extension of Lower Level Route from Garden Avenue to Marine Drive near Park Royal Shopping Centre, including a two-lane road and new bridge over the Capilano River.

Pemberton Avenue Grade Separation

Based on further study, the originally proposed Pemberton Avenue Grade Separation will now take place at Philip Avenue to the west. The project is now called the Philip Avenue Overpass Project.

Low Level Road Realignment

Realignment and elevation of existing Low Level Road to accommodate additional rail tracks for terminal expansion.

Neptune/Cargill Grade Separation

Elimination of existing at-grade crossing at Low Level Road and 3rd Street East.

Lynn Creek Rail Bridge and Brooksbank Avenue Underpass

Construction of a new concrete and steel rail bridge addition over Lynn Creek to widen the existing port rail corridor. Modification of underpass to accommodate additional rail tracks necessary for terminal expansion plans.

Program participants

Direct funding participants

  • Government of Canada
  • British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
  • the Port of Vancouver
  • TransLink
  • District of North Vancouver
  • City of North Vancouver
  • Kinder Morgan Canada Terminals L.P.
  • Canadian Pacific Railway
  • Canadian National Railway

Consulted participants

  • Squamish Nation
  • District of West Vancouver
  • Univar Canada Ltd.
  • Canexus Chemicals Canada Limited Partnership
  • Western Stevedoring Company Limited
  • Neptune Bulk Terminals (Canada) Ltd.
  • Cargill Limited
  • Richardson International, Fibreco Export Inc.
  • Washington Marine