June 24,2010 Tri City News


By Sarah Payne - The Tri-City News
Published: June 24, 2010 2:00 PM
Updated: June 24, 2010 2:49 PM

Port Moody is getting legal advice on how it can take back the Murray-Clarke corridor from TransLink.

City council considered the possibility last month, when the committee of the whole was set to discuss a study that would investigate how to improve the corridor while PoMo waits for the long-planned Murray-Clarke Connector to be built. Before they got there, however, the talk was all about TransLink’s broken promises to build the connector.

At the time, Mayor Joe Trasolini said instead of talking about improving traffic flows along Murray-Clarke, council should be “taking whatever steps are needed to take the corridor back from TransLink and putting it back in the hands of Port Moody.”

Now, PoMo has confirmed, through the release of an in-camera resolution, that it is seeking advice on a potential legal challenge regarding Murray-Clarke Connector funding.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, acting mayor Meghan Lahti said the move was borne out of concern that the provincial government and TransLink have broken promises when it comes to funding the connector.

Three years ago, $50 million was earmarked for the project — it’s now estimated to cost $70 million — but as TransLink grappled with its huge budget deficit, the Murray-Clarke Connector disappeared from its to-do list.

“We’ve made decisions based on unfulfilled promises and we’re looking at ways to remediate that situation,” Lahti said Tuesday. “We’re looking at legal advice on any options we have related to... removing the Murray-Clarke corridor from the Major Road Network.”

TransLink spokesperson Ken Hardie said there is a process by which cities can request that portions of road be removed from the MRN and, while it isn’t invoked often, it was used recently in Delta.

“In order for a piece of roadway to be removed from the MRN, it needs TransLink’s approval,” he said. “TransLink would have discussions to see what could offset the impact of the removal of a piece of road from the MRN.”