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Harris Road crossing to close for three days

Canadian Pacific rail repaving bumpy crossing on Harris Road in Pitt Meadows from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30
CP Rail will be repairing the crossing at Harris Road. The project will see the crossing closed for three days from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30.

Harris Road in Pitt Meadows will be shut down for three days at the end of October to allow crews to repave the bumpy crossing at the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks.

On Tuesday, Pitt Meadows council approved spending $259,000 for the project as the city has no choice in footing the bill.

The work will be done by CP, but must be financed by the city.

City director of operation Cory Day told council that’s because of a senior-junior relationship set out in the federal Transportation Act.

“If the road right-of-way is established prior to the railway coming in, the municipality is the senior owner,” said Day.

“But if it’s the other way around, if the rail track was there before the municipality came, then the road authority is required to pay for the improvements.”

The Canadian Pacific Railway was constructed from Pitt Meadows to Port Moody in 1885, long before Pitt Meadows was incorporated or even established.

Its track now crosses the main road into the city.

Approximately 18,000 vehicles and 22 trains use the crossing at Harris Road each day.

Day said the city has been fielding calls about the rough, pot-holed state of the crossing for several years, but needed the go-ahead from CP before any work could begin.

Repairing the crossing will take place over three days, from Oct. 28 to 30.

The work will only begin after the last morning West Coast Express train leaves the Pitt Meadows station and stop in time for the first train heading back from Vancouver.

The fire department will have to station a truck at the crossing while the work is being done.

The city is also responsible for advertising the road closure.

While work is underway, commuters will be detoured over the 113B overpass or via Park Road.

Mayor Deb Walters assured residents that there will be signage and information to inform them about the impending closure.

“The work won’t affect the West Coast Express,” said Walters.

“It will be daytime hours because CP doesn’t work overtime apparently.”