Bridging the Week: Malahat, Ports and Your Feedback

How was your week? Ours was busy. Lots of information to share with you this week including: updates on the Malahat, Northern Region road improvement projects, Coastal Ferries and George Massey Tunnel Consultation Summaries, announcements in the Port of Prince Rupert and let’s not forget daylight savings.

Malahat Safety Upgrades on the Final Stretch
The final portion of work that will complete the government of B.C.’s commitment for new median barrier and other safety improvements on the Malahat is now underway.

A recent contract award includes installation of concrete median barriers at four locations totalling 2.6 kilometres, bringing the total of new median barrier installed to 5.4 kilometres. The contract also includes upgrades to three intersections, improved lighting, signage and road markings. Work is expected to be completed in late June.

During construction, motorists are advised to check DriveBC for potential delays. When possible, barrier placement will occur at night to limit delays. Blasting is required to widen sections of the highway. This will result in short closures. Otherwise, the highway will be open to single-lane traffic in both directions during peak periods. When this work has been completed, over 40 per cent of the Malahat corridor will be separated with median barriers.

Coastal Ferries Feedback
The Coastal Ferries Consultation and Engagement summary report was released this week, summarizing the input received during an eight-week public consultation process conducted in fall 2012. A copy of the Coastal Ferries Consultation Summary report is available at:

Quick Facts:

  • More than 2,000 people participated in 40 consultation events in 30 communities, plus one webinar.
  • More than 1,200 feedback forms were received (both online and hard copy).
  • There were more than 700 written submissions.
  • An online public opinion poll surveyed 500 people.

George Massey Tunnel Phase 1 and 2
Phase 2 of consultation on the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project begins next week, following today’s release of a report summarizing Phase 1 consultation.

More than 1,100 people participated in Phase 1, which sought to gain a better understanding of current travel needs and design considerations for developing replacement options. The three-week consultation period (Dec. 1 to 19, 2012) included online engagement, nine stakeholder meetings and five open houses.

More than 80 per cent of respondents identified congestion reduction as the most important factor to consider in developing replacement options. Currently, rush hour queues can extend from 1.5 to 5 kilometres, which wastes valuable time for commuters and commercial users.
It’s official. During an event in Prince Rupert Friday afternoon, representatives of the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia, CN Rail, and the Prince Rupert Port Authority officially launched construction of the Port of Prince Rupert’s Road, Rail and Utility Corridor which will support new terminal developments and boost Canada’s trade capacity and exports to fast-growing Asia-Pacific markets.

Prince Rupert and the Northwest area of the province were also on the radar for a number of other improvements announced for the coming months including:

Bitter Creek Bridge built anew
A new bridge is in the works on Highway 37A at Bitter Creek, approximately 13 kilometres east of Stewart. The bridge was washed out during flooding in September 2011 and this new permanent structure will replace the temporary bridge that was built to allow access to Stewart following the flood. A 51-metre steel and concrete bridge will be built, complete with steel pilings and new, stronger approaches, to protect the structure from further damage in case of high water in Bitter Creek. Work will start at the end of March and is scheduled to be completed by mid-October.

We captured the opening of the temporary bridge over Bitter Creek in 2011. Here’s a look at the first travellers passing over it following the washout. Can you say “happy campers”?

Sealcoating Works
Highway 16, east of Terrace (between St. Croix Creek and Boulder West Creek) and Highway 37A from Bitter Creek Bridge to Stewart are heavily used by the trucking industry supporting expansions at the Port of Prince Rupert and Rio Tinto Alcan’s operations near Kitimat. Both roads are scheduled for seal coating work starting in mid-May and are scheduled to be completed by early September.

Paving Projects
A paving project was also announced this week on Highway 16 from McClymont to Fredericks Street and Galloway Rapids Bridge to the Tyee Overhead. The asphalt surface on these sections of the highway is showing signs of wear and this paving will protect the infrastructure. Work will start in early July and is scheduled to be completed by late September.

Do you have big ideas about Transit in the Tri City area?
TransLink is seeking Public Advisory Committee members and applications are now open for people who live, work or study within Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Belcarra and Anmore to join TransLink’s new Public Advisory Committee (PAC). The committee will provide community perspective into the recently-initiated Northeast Sector Area Transit Plan.

“Input from those who live, work or study in the area, stakeholders and municipalities is key to the success of the plan,” says Bob Paddon, Executive Vice President, Strategic Planning and Public Affairs at TransLink.

It’s Daylight Savings! Spring Forward and Stay Alert
As we get ready to move our clocks forward an hour this Saturday night for the start of Daylight Savings Time, ICBC is asking drivers to think about the impact it could have on their driving skills. Daylight Savings Time can have a dramatic effect on disrupting our regular sleep cycle as it puts us out of sync with our circadian rhythm.

Here are ICBC’s tips to help you adjust to the time change:

  • Plan to get to bed early on Saturday evening and go to bed at your regular time on Sunday to be ready for Monday commutes.
  • After many weeks of early sunrises, expect darker morning commutes and more vulnerable road users – cyclists and pedestrians – on the road as the weather warms up.
  • Prepare your vehicle for the change in conditions and darker morning commutes. Clean your vehicle’s headlights and check that they are all working properly, both high and low beam and rear lights.

Have a great weekend. Thanks for taking the time to check in with us. If you have any comments or suggestions on how we can better serve you, let us know in the comments below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook or Flickr. Until next week, safe travels friends.

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