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June 24,2010 Tri City News

By Diane Strandberg - The Tri-City News
Published: June 24, 2010 5:00 PM

Construction of the $1.4-billion Evergreen Line will have far-reaching effects on Tri-City commuters, shoppers, homeowners and businesses — and fish — but the benefits outweigh the inconvenience and problems can be mitigated with good management.

That’s the conclusion of an 18-month environmental assessment of the rapid transit line that is proposed for Burnaby to Coquitlam. (The full report is available for viewing at Port Moody and Coquitlam city halls and at

With the assessment complete, the project moves on to the next stage, environmental certification, which is necessary before the construction can begin.

Evergreen’s community relations manager, Angela MacKenzie, said the Environmental Assessment Office will now review the data and decide whether to approve the certificate, a process could take another couple of months. In the meantime, she said, the public is encouraged to review the documents, make comments and attend open houses to find out more or to make their concerns known.

“It’s a 60-day comment period starting on June 30 to Aug. 29. We’re looking for feedback on those studies and the mediation,” MacKenzie said.

The open houses are planned for July 6 in Coquitlam city hall council chambers, July 7 at Cameron rec centre in Burnaby and July 8 in Port Moody’s Inlet Theatre; all open houses will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. A presentation by the Environmental Assessment Office begins at 7 p.m. and there will be an opportunity to ask questions. The Ministry of Transportation will also make a presentation.

People expected to attend the meetings are those most directly affected — such as local business owners and homeowners, as well as environmental groups that are concerned about the effects of the Evergreen Line on creeks and streams, MacKenzie said.


Some people who are expected to attend are those living near construction of the two tunnel portals — in Coquitlam and Port Moody — where noise is expected to be relatively high for up to two years. As well, vibration during construction will affect as many as 13 multi-family dwellings, 47 single-family residences, two multi-use buildings and one hotel due to tunnelling activity.

An ongoing operational plan for dealing with noise and vibration — including complaints — is recommended in the assessment.

Once the line is running, however, occupants of 16 buildings along the alignment will experience “high noise impacts” and occupants in another 61 buildings will experience “moderate noise impacts.”

Ideas for reducing noise include scheduling and communication during construction, and proper maintenance of the equipment during operations. As well, noise-absorption materials are to be installed and noise-abatement strategies will be employed at the stations where public announcements are made.


Other issues noted in the assessment include concerns about streams and wildlife, such as:

• Increased surfaced run-offs to creeks in heavy rains, especially at South Schoolhouse Creek, where water might drain from south tunnel construction.

• Temporary loss of more than 500 sq. m of aquatic habitat during construction in South Schoolhouse, Slaughterhouse, Suterbrook and Scott creeks; permanent loss of 130 sq. m in Kyle Creek for a culvert.

• Temporary loss of 4,640 sq. m of riparian habitat in creeks during construction and permanent loss of 1,320 sq. m due to the installation of guideway columns and culverting..

• Trees that could be affected will be detailed, surveyed and will be protected or replaced, where possible.


Disruption of traffic, parking, cycling, pedestrian movements, rail traffic and public transit is likely to occur, according to the report, which suggests mitigation measures such as a traffic management strategy and establishment of a business liaison committee, plus timing utility relocation to take into consideration time of day, week and seasonal sensitivities.

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