Bike lanes are being added to the South Alouette bridge along Neaves Road in Pitt Meadows, part of a bridge deck rehabillitation project beginning in July.
The lanes were approved at an April 17 council meeting and are expected to cost around $1,115,000, including an extra $95,000 to widen the lanes from from 1.5 metres to 1.85 metres. The project received unanimous support at a June 5 council meeting.
“Which is a substantial widening without any substructure retrofit requirement. So that’s as much as we can get on that substructure of the bridge,” said Forrest Smith, director of engineering for the City of Pitt Meadows, adding that widening the lanes will provide safety benefits for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the bridge.
The cantilevered lanes will be added to the existing sub-structure of the bridge and are intended to separate cyclists from the frequent truck traffic on Neaves Road and remove the sightline risk created by vertical curvature of the bridge.
Coun. Janis Elkerton sees the bike lanes as a safety measure and a benefit to the city.
“The fact is, Neaves Road is used as a truck route and it is very dangerous. We also have an equestrain area staging right by there and we have tourists out in the middle of the road trying to take pictures,” Elkerton said at the meeting, adding that the wider lanes will also help farming vehicles get off the road so the people who are honking at them can go along peacefully without causeing any accidents.
“So there is a multi-use for our bike lanes,” said Elkerton.
Coun. Bruce Bell also threw his support behind the widened lanes, saying he always sees cyclists and people fishing off the bridge when he drives to Pitt Lake over the summer.
“So I appreciate the extra wide lane that they’ll enjoy,” he said.
Coun. Bill Dingwall said it’s about tourism and public safety.
“We want to celebrate Pitt Meadows and what we stand for and the vistas and make it safe to do so,” said Dingwall.
The Neaves Road-South Alouette Bridge currently represents a gap in the cycling infrastructure constructed along Neaves Road in 2017.
Additional bike lanes along Neaves Road are scheduled for 2020 and 2022 completing cyclist road infrastructure from Old Dewdney trunk Road and Sturgeon Slough.
The project is expected to be completed by January 2019.
Over the next five years, bike lanes will be added to Neaves and Rannie roads, from Old Dewdney Trunk Road to Sturgeon Slough.