Photo courtesy City of Richmond
A ceremonial ground breaking was held today (Sept. 5) for a project designed to improve the flow of traffic in Richmond’s City Centre.
Construction will begin this fall on River Parkway, and is expected to be completed by early 2020.
Mayor Malcolm Brodie says will “provide a huge improvement to traffic flow throughout north Richmond.”
“It will provide a great new option for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians travelling to and through the City Centre,” he adds.
A key component in Richmond’s City Centre Area Plan, which called for the creation of a comprehensive network of additional links in and around the downtown core to improve traffic mobility and alleviate congestion on existing routes, River Parkway will extend north from Gilbert Road, along the former railway corridor, to Cambie Road near No. 3 Road. An initial section of River Parkway has already been completed, coinciding with new development in the area.
Brodie says the new River Parkway will also facilitate the eventual development of Lulu Island Park, a major 37-acre waterfront park along the Middle Arm that will serve residents, workers and tourists within the City Centre.
The overall River Parkway project is expected to cost $13.2 million, with secured funding from TransLink of about $2.55 million going towards cycling and pedestrian components. The balance of funds will be from Roads Development Cost Charges.
“TransLink is proud to support such an important project,” TransLink chief executive officer Kevin Desmond says. “Our mandate is to make it easier for people to get around to region regardless of how they travel. The River Parkway project will build some great new walking and cycling connections, and help people to connect to Canada Line.”
Extending River Parkway is expected to have a number of additional benefits, including:
• enhancing traffic operations of the existing River Road-Gilbert Road intersection, by eliminating the interim River Road connection next to Dinsmore Bridge;
• improving overall traffic circulation in the City Centre, by providing a continuous viable alternative route to No. 3 Road and existing River Road;
• facilitating the development of Lulu Island Park, as well as improving access for abutting properties;
• advancing completion of the north loop road, as part of the ultimate City Centre road network; and
• supporting the city’s commitment to reduce vehicle trips and encourage alternative modes of transportation, by improving cycling and pedestrian infrastructure along the corridor.
Initially, the River Parkway project will be a two-lane road, with separate bike lanes protected from the adjacent vehicle lane with delineator posts. Additional elements include paved walkways for pedestrians, a signal connection at Leslie Road, new traffic signals with universally-accessible crosswalks at all intersections, new streetlights along the entire length; and an off-street multi-use path on the south side of Cambie Road between River and No. 3 roads. The latter is to enhance pedestrian and cycling access between the Middle Arm Greenway, River Parkway, and the Aberdeen Canada Line Station.
Following future redevelopment of abutting properties, the River Parkway will eventually become a four-lane major arterial road with centre median, curb and gutter, treed boulevard, off-street bike paths, and sidewalks. Once River Parkway is complete, an existing section of River Road between Gilbert and Cambie roads, will eventually be closed to allow for developing the 37-acre Lulu Island Park.
The River Parkway extension builds upon other complementary road projects that have been completed in the City Centre during the past several years, intended to enhance traffic flow and support growing development. These include:
• Gilbert Road—widening from two to four lanes and on-street bike lanes between Lansdowne Road and Dinsmore Bridge;
• River Road—widening from two to four lanes between Hollybridge Way and Gilbert Road;
• Cedarbridge Way—extension between Alderbridge Way and River Parkway;
• Lansdowne Road—extension between Minoru Boulevard and Alderbridge Way; creating a continuous direct connection from Hollybridge Way to Garden City Road;
• Ackroyd Road-Elmbridge Way—extension between No. 3 Road and Minoru Boulevard;
• Pearson Way—direct connection to Hollybridge Way (south).