July 28,2006

Build connector before LRT: mayor

By Angela MacKenzie - Staff Reporter

Port Moody's mayor says the long-awaited Murray-Clarke Connector must be completed before a light-rail transit line goes through the city.

Council voted Tuesday to support an Evergreen Line station located at the centre of Barnet Highway, just east of the Ioco intersection, over one located southeast of the intersection along the CP Rail right-of-way. TransLink gave the city the two options at a light rail community task force meeting July 19. The task force felt a station at the centre of Barnet would better serve residents of the city's Town Centre area.

Coun. Mike Clay, who attended the July 19 meeting, said task force members unanimously supported the station at the centre of Barnet. An LRT station along the railway, Clay said, would cost more, according to TransLink, because of the need to buy properties.

Helen Brown, representing the Moody Centre Community Association, questioned whether the city's long-awaited Murray-Clarke Connector would be completed prior to the more "high-profile" Evergreen Line.

Mayor Joe Trasolini, who pushed to put the project back on schedule at TransLink, said the transportation authority is aware the connector must be built first.

"The Murray-Clarke overpass must be completed for the Evergreen Line to go ahead," Trasolini said.

A connector has been on the books since the early 1980s, passed down from the province to TransLink, which set aside $25 million to build it in 2004. At a May 23 in-camera meeting, council voted to request full funding from TransLink for the completion of the connector using a Vintner Street alignment.

published on 07/28/2006