Changes will be coming to improve the intersection at Lougheed Highway and Harris Road in Pitt Meadows.
The provincial government issued a press release Monday about coming public consultation about the projects, but offered no details about the coming changes.
Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall clarified these will be short-term improvements, while long-term and more expensive improvements are still in process.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said initial planning and preliminary engineering work has been completed leading to a concept for improvements to the Lougheed Highway/Harris Road intersection. This has resulted in an option for improvements to make the intersection safer for all users and to make the nearby business and residential areas more accessible, said the press release.
Dingwall said for the past two years, city staff has been in “virtual constant discussions with MOTI” about the intersection. It is both a choke-point for traffic, and has been “susceptible to accidents,” he said.
“There has even been deaths at that intersection,” he added.
It is complex, because the city’s North Lougheed development, the North Lougheed Connector road, and stops for TransLink’s B-Line buses must all be taken into account as work is planned at the intersection.
“This is a huge step forward, and we’re thrilled MOTI wants to come and talk to our community,” said Dingwall.
The next step in the process is to seek public input on the preliminary concept, so that future work on potential upgrades reflects the needs of area residents. The ministry will be seeking public input on the concept this fall.
The ministry has also had discussions with the city about longer-term improvements to the intersection to support future growth and development in the area. The public consultation will seek input on what people in Pitt Meadows and area envision as a long-term improvement at this major intersection. This feedback will help ensure that any preliminary upgrades are compatible with the long-term improvements envisioned for this area.
“I am pleased our government is taking steps to address the challenges at Harris Road and Lougheed so motorists can get home safely,” said Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, on behalf of Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “These improvements will also improve congestion so people can get home quicker to spend time with their families.”
The ministry is finalizing its engagement plan and the public will be notified when online engagement begins this fall. This public engagement will inform the project design and business case required to advance the project for government approval.