July 8,2010 Tri City News
Just build it.
That’s what Tri-City residents are telling Evergreen Line’s Dave Duncan.
The project manager for the planned $1.4-billion rapid transit project said the sentiment is widespread as he travels between his office at the Evergreen Line building across from Coquitlam Centre mall and downtown Vancouver.
Duncan, whose previous job was managing the transportation ministry’s northern operations, says he has spent the last two and a half years of his life solely on the Evergreen Line — at a time when many Tri-City residents have been skeptical as to whether the Burnaby-to-Coquitlam line would ever be built.
“The money will come. It’s going ahead,” predicted Duncan.
He noted that when the transportation ministry starts something, it usually finishes it, citing the Sea to Sky Highway and the Canada Line as projects that have been completed and in which many of his colleagues were involved.
Evidence that much planning has already taken place on the line was revealed during an open house Tuesday in Coquitlam on the Environment Assessment Certification Application, a process the Evergreen Line needs to go through before it can be built.
In response to a local resident’s query about a future service centre for rapid transit vehicles, Duncan revealed that a location for a vehicle storage facility has been identified for a piece of property owned by BC Hydro near Falcon Drive in Coquitlam. It would be capable of holding up to 28 vehicles but wouldn’t be used for heavy duty washing or maintenance work. Duncan said the storage facility may be used for light cleaning and inspections in the future.
Duncan also reaffirmed statements made earlier this week by Small Business, Technology and Economic Development Minister Iain Black that there is no money to build three extra stations proposed by Port Moody and Coquitlam. PoMo wants an extra station near Queen Street while Coquitlam is promoting stations at Falcon Drive and Lincoln Avenue.
But they won’t be built unless they can be justified by density and paid for by development dollars.
“There is no more money within the $1.4-billion envelope for additional stations,” he said, adding that Coquitlam is actively working on plans to support a station at Lincoln Avenue while Port Moody is taking a different approach while it waits for the start of the Evergreen Line before adding more density to support a station at Queen Street.
Still, he said the track will be designed to potentially accommodate all three extra stations in the future.
That may be disappointing news to the Port Moody Western Station Committee, which wants a station closer to the portal tunnel in an industrial area south of Barnet Highway and is concerned that its choice was left out of the environmental assessment.