Centennial Road viaduct completed at port terminals in East Vancouver

Aug 6 2021, 8:05 pm

The new Centennial Road overpass on the Burrard Inlet port waterfront in East Vancouver recently opened to container and port traffic, marking a major milestone for the Centerm terminal expansion.

This 600-metre-long, two-lane viaduct roadway creates a direct, seamless link from Vanterm terminal north of Grandview-Woodland to Centerm terminal, just east of downtown Vancouver. It runs parallel to the City of Vancouver’s 2014-built Powell Street overpass just south of the railway.

Additionally, the existing two-lane Waterfront Road will receive a 600-metre eastward extension from its current end near Dunlevy Avenue to the westernmost end of the viaduct.

centennial road overpass vancouver centerm

July 2021 opening of the Centennial Road overpass. (Port of Vancouver)

centennial road overpass vancouver centerm

July 2021 opening of the Centennial Road overpass. (Port of Vancouver)

The new viaduct and Waterfront Road extension create a continuous port road from Highway 1 to Canada Place. However, to prevent this new waterfront route from unintentionally becoming a commuter route for the general public, this extended roadway will be traffic controlled — limited to the use of container trucks and port vehicles by an access control gate at the Main Street overpass.

The Centennial Road overpass, running immediately south of the historic Rogers Sugar refinery, was constructed to bypass railway tracks, reducing both rail and road congestion.

centennial road overpass vancouver centerm

July 2021 opening of the Centennial Road overpass. (Port of Vancouver)

Heatley Avenue overpass

Phased demolition of the Heatley Avenue overpass at Centerm terminal. (Port of Vancouver)

Later this month, the existing Heatley Avenue overpass will be permanently closed for demolition, which will occur in phases through Spring 2022.

As a result of the closure of the Heatley Avenue overpass, there will be a noticeable decrease in container truck traffic on city streets, including Hastings Street, Powell Street, Dundas Street, Nanaimo Street and McGill Street.

“We are incredibly proud to announce the opening of the Centennial Road overpass, constructed by our design builder CXP. This marks an important milestone to improve the movement of goods in the Pacific gateway to support Canada’s growing trade,” said Cliff Stewart, vice president of infrastructure at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, in a statement.

“The collaborative efforts between government and industry help to ensure Canada remains competitive on the world stage for years to come.”

Road projects account for $78 million of the entire $320-million cost of the Centerm terminal expansion.

centerm vancouver expansion july 2021

Western expansion of Centerm terminal north of Crab Park, as of July 2021. (Port of Vancouver)

centerm vancouver expansion july 2021

Eastward expansion of Centerm terminal’s container facilities at Ballantyne Pier, as of July 2021. (Port of Vancouver)

centerm terminal expansion port of vancouver

Centerm terminal expansion and improvements. (Port of Vancouver)

Other major project components include a seven-acre westward extension of the terminal footprint through a wharf structure and earth fill enclosed by rock dykes for a larger and reconfigured container and intermodal yard. There is also an infill of the old Ballantyne pier terminal at the eastern end of Centerm, which was previously used as a cruise ship terminal for expanded container operations.

When the Centerm project is fully complete in 2022, the terminal’s container capacity will increase by 66%, from 900,000 TEUs to 1.5 million TEUs.

The expansion will allow Centerm to better meet the long-term trajectory growth in shipping demand and the years-long global backlog due to COVID-19.

Centerm currently processes about 20% of the region’s ship container traffic.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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