And so it begins. Drivers who typically use the Burrard Street Bridge to cross False Creek are being warned to use alternate routes beginning today.
Construction work starts today on a number of bridge, water, and sewage infrastructure upgrades that will result in the partial and full closure of Burrard Street over the next 18 months. The municipal government says it plans to keep one lane in each direction open between Broadway and Davie Street, but some full closures will be required between Broadway and West 16th Avenue this summer.
Other False Creek crossings to the east, Granville Street Bridge and Cambie Street Bridge, are being recommended as alternate routes during the construction period. Access to cyclist and pedestrian pathways will remain open, although there could be some detours to allow for construction to occur.
The upgrades are part of a $35 million project that will reconfigure the road deck of the Burrard Street Bridge.
Crews will permanently shut down one northbound lane on the bridge, effectively turning the bridge in a four-lane crossing to provide cyclists with their own dedicated northbound bike lane and allow pedestrians to use the east sidewalk again. Similar to the southbound lanes, the concrete median found on the sidewalk will be relocated onto the roadway.
On the north end of the bridge, the turning channels at the intersection of Burrard Street and Pacific Street will be eliminated and replaced with two new turning lanes in each direction controlled by traffic lights.
Suicide-prevention fencing will be installed along the entire length of both sides of the bridge. Historic elements of the bridge, such as the concrete railings, will be also be rehabilitated.
Major road closures also occurred on the Burrard Street Bridge two years ago to allow for the replacement of the bridge deck’s expansion joints and reconfiguration of the intersection of Burrard Street and Cornwall Avenue, the southern end of the bridge.