A total of $125 million is being allocated by the public transit authority to Metro Vancouver municipal jurisdictions for investments in road, pedestrian, and cycling infrastructure.
TransLink states this is the first time the annual upgrade funding has been allocated to all 23 municipal jurisdictions in the region.
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For 2021, the record level of funding will be used to help cover the cost of 131 projects, while also improving and maintaining over 2,600 km of roads that are classified by TransLink as part of the region’s Major Road Network.
This program is under the Mayors’ Council’s 10-year transit expansion plan, with funding provided by both TransLink and the provincial government.
TransLink is providing funding for 20 projects by the City of Vancouver, including this year’s two largest grants — $5.3 million for the Granville Bridge Connector, building a walking and cycling pathway on the west side of the bridge deck, and $5 million for critical structural upgrades to the Granville Bridge.
Additionally, the public transit authority is providing $531,000 to upgrade the three temporary asphalt bus bulges installed on the curbside lane of Robson Street last year into permanent concrete bulges with bus shelters. This will reduce delays with buses pulling in and out of the stops.
Another $500,000 will go towards expanding downtown Vancouver’s bike lane network, specifically the Smithe Street bike lane extension project from Richards to Thurlow streets.
Surrey is also a major recipient, with $3.8 million for the 160 Street arterial road widening project from Fraser Highway to 88 Avenue, $2 million for the 64 Avenue arterial road widening project from 177B Street to 184 Street, and $1.5 million for widening 80 Avenue from two lanes to four lanes over a total distance of two km.
These investments follow TransLink’s scaling back of such investments in 2020 during its financial uncertainty during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis.