North Van’s Casano-Loutet overpass gets $1-million boost

The City of North Vancouver is celebrating Bike to Work and School Week with a $1-million grant for one of its largest bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects – a new overpass over Highway 1.

Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena announced the BikeBC grant for the Casano-Loutet Bridge on Wednesday.

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“We got a million bucks. How great is that?” Mayor Linda Buchanan said. “This is really exciting news for us. It means we can start really moving forward.”

The Casano-Loutet Bridge has been in the city’s plans for years but has never had funding. When it is done, it will link the Cedar Village neighbourhood north of The Cut to Loutet Park, where it will have connections to the Green Necklace.

“This is significant for us. It fills the gap in one of the critical missing links to our cycling network and active transportation network,” Buchanan said, noting it will mean commuters as well as students going to Brooksbank and Queensbury elementary schools and Sutherland Secondary will no longer have to cross through the Lynn Valley interchange.

“What I hear from people who either have to ride it or walk it, and from parents as well as young people, is it’s not a great stretch for either mode,” she said. “We certainly want (Casano-Loutet) to be something that’s functional and provides safety but also is pleasant for people to walk over or ride over.”

The city is contributing $1.3 million for the project. TransLink is putting $1.2 million and the city is still waiting to hear about a $2.4-million grant it has applied for from the federal government.

“I’ve asked Minister (Jonathan) Wilkinson many times,” Buchanan said.

Construction is likely going to begin in 2020.

The District of West Vancouver is receiving $50,000 towards new concrete separated bike lanes along Marine Drive, east from the Lions Gate Bridge to the District of North Vancouver boundary. West Vancouver will pay the rest of the $101,400 cost. That project still needs the permission of the Squamish Nation as it encroaches on their land.

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