Viaducts – A look back at other options. (Where did they go?)

As the City of Vancouver is debating the future of the viaducts, it could be worth looking at the materials that were presented to the public in 2012. In particular, at least 5 different options were initially considered by City staff:

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These options were to:

  • bring viaducts down to Main Street
  • merge with Pacific/Expo
  • maintain the viaducts
  • retain Dunsmuir Viaduct
  • remove the viaducts

Back in 2012, the estimated cost of the viaduct removal was in the neighbourhood of $80 million to $100 million. The price for the project has now ballooned to the $180 million to 200 million range. City Council is now only considering one option to completely remove the viaducts; at the same time City staff wish to rearrange the land parcels:

creekside park reconfigured
viaducts city option

While there may be completely valid reasons to remove the viaducts, is it good policy to immediately link this to changing property boundaries? If the Viaducts are to come down, could the current property boundaries stay unchanged?

The City has not provided further information on the other options for the viaducts except for briefly mentioning these as part of the public Open House held in 2012. The only file released via FOI that we know of is the following: 2012-Viaducts_FOI (there’s hardly any useful information in it). Before approving a $200 million plan to reshape Northeast False Creek, should the City be transparent and release all internal studies made about the future of the viaducts?

viaducts1-maintain

One of the options that was considered was maintaining the viaducts

Photo: View from south shore of False Creek (below). Would viaducts removal spur development of another tower district and result in blocked views? Our guess is YES. But if so, a LOT of people will be affected by the changes to their views — and by the time they realize it, this decision will be ancient history. Yet City Council plans to make the decision within days. There are a myriad of impacts of this decision. A multitude of people who will be affected probably have no idea what’s the implications are and how it will affect them.

False Creek view

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