A pedestrian and bicycle connection between Quayside and Queensborough (the “Q2Q” Bridge) has long been an important City objective. Approximately $6.3 million from casino revenues are expected to be available for the project, which must be used by the end of 2020. The City previously studied a number of high level options in order to provide required clearances above the river and to address the desire for a structure that would not be disrupted by rail or train traffic. Unfortunately, the high level options were much more costly than City resources could support, required users to travel longer distances and climb high heights, and were physically and visually intrusive on surrounding neighbourhoods, so these were no longer pursued.
In 2013, the City and Southern Railway of BC (SRY) discussed constructing a low-level crossing on or near their existing rail bridge and SRY indicated that they could consider adapting their operating procedures to allow a low-level crossing to typically be in the closed position (i.e., available to pedestrians for cyclists to cross). As a result, two options were developed, both with a raised causeway from the boardwalks on each side of the river leading to a movable centre span. One span option was connected to the existing rail swing bridge and the other span option a separate “bascule bridge” i.e., a draw bridge. Information on the two initial options for the centre span, can be accessed here.
Initial technical work and community consultation was completed in 2014 and the clear preference was for a bascule bridge, although there is currently a significant funding shortfall for this option. City Council subsequently directed staff to move forward with detailed design work and to seek third-party funding for the preferred bridge option.
Spring 2016 Update
In December 2015 a reference concept reference concept was presented. Based on community feedback, Council has subsequently endorsed a low-level crossing immediately downstream of the existing rail swing bridge as the new reference concept for the proposed Q2Q bridge. Staff are currently in the process of obtaining a new cost estimate (Class C +/- 25%) for this concept and will bring this back for Council review prior to proceeding with the regulatory process.
If Council determines from the cost estimate that the project is financially feasible and directs staff to proceed with the process, there would be additional community consultation and negotiations with the marine carriers and regulators. Council has also directed staff to identify water crossing options to a bridge in the event that it is not possible to proceed with a bridge.
Fall 2015 Project Status
Fundraising efforts are underway and an additional grant has been provided by TransLink for the project. The City has been working with Port Metro Vancouver, Transport Canada and marine carriers (tug boat operators who transport barges and log booms through the North Arm of the Fraser River) on clearance and bridge code requirements and regulatory approvals in order to begin construction in 2016 for project completion in 2017. A Request for Qualifications (RFP) for engineering firms interested in project has been issued and the response to this RFQ was strong. The final decision to proceed with construction will depend on completing a detailed design that meets the needs of all river users within the available budget and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals from Port Metro Vancouver and Transport Canada. These approvals involve navigation and environmental approvals as well as consultation with the community and First Nations. We are currently starting this work and will have several opportunities for feedback as we move through this next phase.
Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions here.
Open House - Dec 2015
Thank you to everyone who provided feedback based on the open house held on December 2, 2015. The information shown at the event can be found below.
Reports to Council
The Q2Q Bridge Brochure can be accessed here.