Q2Q bridge comes with complaints, concerns, and deadlines
By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter
The New Westminster waterfront has always been a popular place for a stroll on a nice day with friends, and the area is about to get an addition.
The Quay to Queensborough (Q2Q) Bridge, a pedestrian and cyclist bridge, has been in the works for many years. Last month, city officials decided that a drawbridge was necessary should it be placed along the Fraser River near the railway bridge. However, after consulting with tugboat operators and Port Metro Vancouver, the previous details have been changed, pertaining specifically to the location and height of the Q2Q crossing. Instead of being placed near the railway crossing, the project has been moved downstream.
Due to safety concerns, it is necessary for the bridge to be 14.5 metres above water. Currently, plans are to include elevators on both sides, bringing pedestrians and cyclists up to the crossing, with a wide staircase encircling the lift.
According to a Q2Q brochure found on the city’s website, “the planned Quayside to Queensborough Bridge … will connect residents, employees and tourists traveling between the Queensborough community, downtown New Westminster and points beyond.”
“From a regional transportation perspective, the bridge will link greenways on the north and south side of the Fraser River and the New Westminster SkyTrain Station to Queensborough. It will also provide enhanced access along the scenic Fraser River and complete a key missing link in the Experience the Fraser trail system running from Hope to the Salish Sea.”
The overpass is confirmed to be built in the near future, as $6.3 million, received from casino funding, has been allocated to the project. Recently, the province has hinted that the deadline, previously planned back in 2015, then for 2017, will most likely be pushed back to 2020. Although the bridge is beginning to lock down blueprints, the foundation isn’t being built without a struggle.
Throughout the past few months, residents of the condos alongside the Quay have expressed concern about their view of the Fraser River, should the bridge be built. One of the residents, Brian Gibson, vented his frustration to the New Westminster Record, saying: “It’s just wrong.”
“The view that will be impeded by about four of the units closest to this proposed bridge would be significant,” said Gibson. He added his concern about the devaluation of his, and a handful of the Quay’s properties. “We are on the fourth floor. My neighbour on the ground floor, any westward view down the river, which is quite pleasant, will be totally obstructed. Thus the concern of the property value impact.”
Gibson told to the New Westminster Record that he isn’t against the bridge, but hopes that residents will be corresponded with more often and that a beneficial solution will be found soon.