Richmond opens new major arterial road through its city centre (PHOTOS)

Mar 4 2021, 5:24 pm

After about two years of construction, the first section of a major north-south arterial road through Richmond City Centre will officially open to traffic this Saturday, March 6.

The newly completed span of River Parkway runs roughly parallel to No. 3 Road between Gilbert Road and Cambie Road, a distance of about one kilometre. This is a two-lane, bidirectional roadway for vehicles, plus pedestrian sidewalks, bike lanes on both sides of the street marked by delineator posts, and LED street lighting.

During today’s press conference, Richmond mayor Malcolm Brodie said this will serve to greatly enhance traffic flow in the city centre, where significant new mixed-use developments are planned now and into the future.

Approximately 17,000 vehicles are expected to use this section of roadway on average daily, including vehicle traffic transplanted from No. 3 Road.

river parkway richmond

The new River Parkway arterial roadway, March 2021. (City of Richmond)

river parkway richmond

The new River Parkway arterial roadway, March 2021. (City of Richmond)

river parkway richmond

The new River Parkway arterial roadway, March 2021. (City of Richmond)

There are new intersections controlled by traffic signals where River Parkway meets Leslie Road and Cambie Road. Pedestrian and cyclist connections on the south side of Cambie Road have been improved with a new multi-use path between the Middle Arm Greenway and the Canada Line’s Aberdeen Station on No. 3 Road.

River Parkway at the existing intersection with Gilbert Road and River Road will see flow improvements.

The existing River Road running along the riverfront — west of River Parkway — will cease its function as a connector road starting this weekend, when through traffic is blocked. A new cul-de-sac will also be constructed on River Road over the coming months.

“River Parkway is a critical component fulfilling Richmond’s long-term commitment to a sustainable arterial transportation network,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Highlighted in our City Centre Area Plan, it will improve traffic mobility and alleviate congestion on existing routes.”

river parkway richmond

The new River Parkway arterial roadway, March 2021. (City of Richmond)

river parkway richmond

The new River Parkway arterial roadway, March 2021. (City of Richmond)

lulu island park richmond city centre

A red arrow marks the location of the future 37-acre Lulu Island Park in Richmond City Centre. (City of Richmond)

As well, over the longer term, a large section of River Road north of Gilbert Road will be removed for the municipal government’s plan to build the 37-acre Lulu Island Park. This new waterfront public park will occupy space currently used by River Road and a number of large industrial properties, which are being purchased by the city.

Major expansions and improvements will be made to River Parkway over time.

The roadway will eventually be extended by approximately 500 metres northwards from Cambie Road to Capstan Way through developer contributions from future redevelopments on both sides of the street.

Moreover, the entire 1.5-kilometre-long ultimate stretch of the new River Parkway between Gilbert Road and Capstan Way will eventually be widened to a four-lane arterial road standard with centre median and turning lanes at the intersections, a tree-lined boulevard, off-street bike lanes, and sidewalks. The newly complete section of River Parkway from Gilbert Road to Cambie Road will be widened over time by the abutting developments providing property setbacks to establish a larger right-of-way.

Richmond River Parkway

Route of the new River Parkway route in North Richmond. (City of Richmond)

Richmond River Parkway

Diagrams showing the temporary and permanent designs of the new River Parkway route in North Richmond. (City of Richmond)

The completed project reaching Cambie Road came under its budget of $13.2 million, with TransLink funding $2.55 million for the cycling and pedestrian components, and the municipal government covering the balance from its Roads Development Cost Charges from developers.

River Parkway is built on the former Canadian Pacific railway corridor acquired by the municipal government in 2005.

A few years prior to the acquisition, the former railway corridor was considered for the alternate route of the Canada Line, instead of No. 3 Road.

This former railway corridor was also used by the historic Interurban tram nearly a century ago.

“TransLink is pleased to support projects like the new River Parkway, which will make cycling and walking in Richmond safer and more comfortable while providing a great new connection for our customers to connect to the Canada Line and buses at Aberdeen Station,” said Jeff Busby, acting vice-president of engineering for TransLink.

river parkway richmond

The new River Parkway arterial roadway, March 2021. (City of Richmond)

river parkway richmond

The new River Parkway arterial roadway, March 2021. (City of Richmond)

river parkway richmond

The new River Parkway arterial roadway, March 2021. (City of Richmond)

river parkway richmond

The new River Parkway arterial roadway, March 2021. (City of Richmond)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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