Vancouver City Council has voted to tear down the viaducts that connect East Vancouver to Downtown.
After Council listened to more than 50 speakers and a 7 hour public meeting yesterday evening, the 5-4 decision didn’t come easy.
It’s going to cost an estimated $200 million.
City Councillor Geoff Meggs says the decision came down with numerous amendments, some of which were continuously brought up by speakers.
“There were a couple of amendments that strengthened the commitment, to consult with the black community whose neighborhood was destroyed when the viaducts were built. And more commitment to work to build affordable housing. Those were two that passed”.
The viaducts will be replaced with a new two-way ramp connecting Georgia Street with a new two-way, six-lane Pacific Boulevard.
Councillor Meggs says the final decision was reflective of a lot of the input they heard.
“There was concern from Strathcona about traffic impacts that was certainly reflective of the final decision. People on the warehouse row along Malkin were worried about changes there. That’s going to come back in a different report with options on that, probably next year”.
City staff also made numerous recommendations.
Some of which include council approve a budget of up to $21 million for the 2-year work program.
And the city will work with the Vancouver Park board on planning new waterfront parks.
Staff will return back to council in 18 months on a revised public benefits strategy, as well as an update on negotiations.
The city hopes to have construction complete by 2020.