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Friday, Mar 30, 2018

Burrard Bridge and Pacific Street upgrades address safety and capacity, while considering heritage and sustainability issues

Burrard Bridge

Originally opened in 1932, the Burrard Bridge serves as a gateway to Downtown Vancouver over False Creek, and is a major transportation corridor. Recognizing that the historic bridge required significant rehabilitation and retrofit to address its deteriorating condition, as well as functional needs, the City of Vancouver retained Associated Engineering as the prime consultant for the bridge upgrades. In addition, the City wished to improve capacity and safety at the Pacific Street and Burrard Street intersection. 

Understanding the need to respect the bridge’s iconic Art Deco style, the team adopted a heritage conservation approach, with input from an integrated team, including a heritage consultant and architect. The design incorporates modern functional improvements, such as lighting and means prevention fencing, that respect the heritage characteristics of the bridge, and achieve modern standards on this 85-year-old structure. 

Upgrades to the Pacific Street Intersection include trenchless construction of a new stormwater main, and improved safety, cycle access, and streetlighting. Manager of Urban Infrastructure, Chris Cheng tells us, “Particular attention was given to protecting the existing Lawson Cypress tree.”

Design of bridge lighting and safety fencing respects iconic, Art Deco-style of structure

The team developed constructible designs and thoughtful traffic management plans for the busy urban environment. Project Manager, Shane Cook tells us, “Over the intense 18-month construction period, we worked closely with the local community and businesses to mitigate delays and reduce inconveniences. Traffic was maintained throughout construction.” 

The Burrard Bridge and Burrard Street and Pacific Street intersection were reopened on October 21, 2017 - upgraded to modern standards with enhanced safety and capacity elements for pedestrians, cyclists, transit and motorists. 

The restored heritage features have received public accolades, and exemplify best practices in sustainable infrastructure design and rehabilitation. The thoughtful integrated design approach resulted in an improved transportation corridor that connects and unites the community for future generations.