Jan 2001 - Translink
TransLink has authorized an independent "peer review" of a technical report commissioned by the Rapid Transit Project Office (RTPO) that recommended eliminating some of the SkyTrain tunnel portal options in Port Moody. The technical report says the option, preferred by Port Moody Council and people in the SeaView neighbourhood involves construction difficulties, environmental risks and higher costs.
However, pending the findings of the peer review and receipt of Port Moody Council's recommendations, the option will remain in consideration by TransLink's Board of Directors who will participate in making the final decision.
Last fall, the RTPO presented Council and the community with four different portal options in a study by the TransUrban Group. The option gaining most support in Port Moody involves tunnelling under the Barnet Highway and Schoolhouse Creek. This would place the tunnel portal near the Andres Wine location or, in a variation, further to the east.
Although this option presents some significant technical challenges, it is favoured by Port Moody Council and the community as it avoids the view impact of the elevated guideways required in the other options and moves the tunnel portal further east, away from the Seaview neighbourhood.
TransLink's Board of Directors, in support of Port Moody's preferred option, asked the RTPO to investigate its feasibility. The latest RTPO report, presented to council and the community, cited poor soil conditions and the size of the excavation needed to launch the tunnel boring machine as causes for concern due to costs, environmental risks and the impacts on major businesses.
The consultant report concluded that this portal option, the variation and another option north of Andres Wines along Short Street be dropped.
In light of the community's support for the preferred option and its issues with the alternatives, TransLink called for the peer review to provide an independent evaluation of the report's assessments and recommendations to ensure that the clearest view of the issues and options was available.
TransLink's Board of Directors will consider the RTPO consultant report, the peer review, public input and Port Moody Council's comments to determine its position, likely in February. The final decision will involve TransLink and the province reaching a consensus on the issue.
Contact: Ken Hardie
Phone: 604 453-4606