After much talk and consternation, work is finally underway to remove one of the aging overpasses that connects the two halves of Park Royal across Marine Drive.
Work crews began tearing up the intersection near the West Vancouver shopping centre Monday morning to do underground service work. In the coming months, the overpass will be removed and replaced with an at-grade crossing for cars and pedestrians.
The start of construction means more traffic delays and detours in the area. The four-way stop in front of Shoppers Drug Mart will be closed to all traffic except buses for two to three days this week. Drivers and pedestrians will still be able to use the existing overpass until the entire project is done, in the early fall.
The project was the focus of much debate at West Vancouver council over the past two years, as critics warned that the change would put more vehicles on Marine Drive during the already-choked rush hour.
The work is necessary, however, according to the mall, as it will improve access and help accommodate a planned redevelopment of Park Royal south.
The work has been a long time coming, according to management.
The intersection is the culmination of two years of planning and discussions with the District of West Vancouver, the community and other key stakeholders, said Rick Amantea, vice-president of Park Royal. This new intersection follows the principles and objectives set out in the District of West Vancouver strategic transportation plan with improvements in accessibility for pedestrians, cyclists, public transportation, first responders and vehicles.
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