This morning, a big expenditure on the Burrard Bridge will come before Vancouver council's committee on planning, transportation and environment.
If the staff recommendations are approved, it will eventually result in the eastern sidewalk being reserved for pedestrians.
There are six lanes on the 83-year-old bridge. Staff have proposed that a second lane would be set aside for cyclists on the eastern side of the road.
There would only be two northbound vehicle lanes as opposed to the three that exist now.
"Reducing the number of general traffic lanes from three to two in each direction on the midspan of the bridge is not anticipated to significantly impact motor vehicle traffic," a staff report states. "Without signals or other factors that affect traffic capacity, two lanes could carry approximately twice the vehicle volume that currently travels across the bridge in the peak hour."
A staff report recommends that council approve $35 million in expenditures in the following areas:
• structural modifications of the bridge, including a concrete railing replacement, roadway lighting electrical replacement, sidewalk overlay, concrete repairs, a crisis phone installation, access improvements for marine spans, fencing, and an east side duct bank repair.
• restoration of an eastern pedestrian sidewalk.
• replacement of concrete barriers with what the report calls "architecturally-enhanced concrete barriers".
• widening the northern bridge approach.
• safety improvements to the intersection at Burrard and Pacific streets.
This multi-year project could be funded by $30 million that's already been approved in the capital plan as well as $4 million from community-amenity contributions from two major developments in the area. An additional $1 million would come from citywide development cost levies allocated to transportation.
The report to council proposes that council reduce the capital plan contribution by $6 million and replace it with $6 million in additional funding from citywide development cost levies.
"The bridge construction is expected to take 14 to 18 months to complete from commencement to construction," the staff report states. "To reduce future construction-related disruptions to the corridor, several nearby water, sewer, and streets asset renewal projects are planned for the same timeframe."