Tuesday, May 1, 2018

A bounty of bypass options

Truck traffic rolls through the downtown core on a regular schedule of
movements between the DP World container port and off shite terminal locations

Last weeks Hays 2.0 Update with Mayor Lee Brain, provided for a bit of map watching for those in the Lester Centre and viewing at home, as the Mayor outlined two different proposals to remove the volume of heavy truck traffic from the city's streets.

As part of his ninety minute presentation, the Mayor observed that the Port had allowed him to share a slide related to their plans to build a container bypass road along the shoreline from the Fairview Terminal to the Ridley Island Access Road.

A project that we made note of on the blog back in June of last year and one that has been part of the Port's development plans for a number of years, it was included as part of the environmental assessment for the Fairview Container Terminal conversion and phased expansion plans.

The path towards reduced traffic through downtown Prince Rupert
will come by way of a container truck bypass route along the
shoreline of Prince Rupert harbour
(outline from Port of Prince Rupert presentation)

In response to an inquiry from the North Coast Review, Kris Schumacher, Communications coordinator with the Port of Prince Rupert, provided an update on the status of the Port's road project along the Prince Rupert harbour shoreline, which could see the first stirrings of construction by September of this year.

Pending a successful permitting process, we are expecting to break ground on the connector road project in Q4 2018. The road would become the exclusive access point for all truck traffic to and from the terminal, and the truck gate would be relocated to the south end of the terminal as part of the project. 

This would enhance the efficiency of movements between the terminal and the container examination facility on Ridley Island, as well as benefit the operations of current export transload services like Ray-Mont Logistics and CT Terminals. Of course an added benefit of the project is the removal of all container-related truck traffic from the downtown core.

The road should it move forward, will help to make a significant reduction on the amount of trucks and containers that pass through the busy 2nd Avenue corridor each day.

The other bypass road that the Mayor called attention to, was the city's plans to create their own bypass route, which would make use of Wantage Road to transit from the Lester Centre area across the edge of the city's main residential sections, then hooking up with Scott Road and the DP World Terminal.

That's a project that would require some significant road construction along what at the moment is effectively a narrow access road, leading to the City Works yard, Oldfield Creek Hatchery and the base of Mount Hays.

Wantage Road looking West at the City of Prince Rupert yard
turning the current road into a major industrial road is going
to require a fair bit of work, should the City of Prince Rupert ever
follow through on a plan to turn it into a container bypass route

The main thrust of the Mayor's prospectus on the Wantage Road Bypass, was to assist in the creation of Light Industrial land along what would be the new roadway, as well as to eventually have that stretch of road designated as Highway 16, which would then turn McBride, Second Avenue West and Park Avenue over to City control.

The City would also like to build a container bypass road, one that would
open up the Wantage Road area for development
(map from City of Prince Rupert)

The question that pops into mind though is what kind of timeline the City would look to follow when it comes to the extended Wantage plan should the Port go ahead and build their road, at their own cost.

Considering the lengthy list of infrastructure woes facing Prince Rupert as outlined by the Mayor last week, one imagines that the Wantage Road Bypass plans and a repatriation by the City of the province's roads through the city, might be an item that drops a little further down the "to do" list once the City actually begins addressing their many concerns.

For more items related to Port of Prince Rupert developments see our archive page here.

Some of the City's concepts for Major Infrastructure and planning issues can be reviewed here.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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