Port Moody city council may not be a big fan, but the Evergreen Line group is moving ahead with traffic changes to the bottom of the Clarke Road hill.
Officials with the line said they are sticking with the original plan to put a timed stoplight on Clarke for southbound traffic heading up the hill only.
That would allow for drivers to make a left turn at Charles Street and merge with eastbound traffic on Clarke and St. Johns Street. The plan includes widening Clarke along the stretch of road and adding a 27-inch-high median down the hill. The changes also include a right turn out from Clarke Street onto Barnet Highway and, if feasible, a right turn into Clarke Street from the highway.
Amanda Farrell, the Evergreen Line's project director, said engineers looked at a broad range of options before settling on the final scenario.
"We've decided this is the option that best meets our objective of safety and mobility," she told The NOW. "We have a strong team of traffic experts and consultants. This is their recommended approach. We're going to move forward with that and see how it performs and make adjustments if we need to."
Farrell noted the traffic changes will be in place within a couple of weeks and are expected to last for three years.
Though city staff and engineers supported Evergreen's plan, city council was at odds with the proposed changes. Several councillors considered the plan to be unsafe, but ultimately the decision was up to the Evergreen line group.
Coun. Diana Dilworth said she feels more comfortable with the plan after getting a better understanding of the various options during a presentation from Evergreen officials last week. However, she also wished for Evergreen to approach consultation differently in the future.
"I would hope and strongly encourage Evergreen to continue to look at ways to improve traffic as the construction project moves through," Dilworth said.
Evergreen Line officials noted the Clarke hill plan is the first of several traffic pat-tern changes to come during the line's construction, adding they would continue to work collaboratively with city officials.
As for the project, work will begin on the north tunnel portal in west Port Moody to prepare for the tunnel-boring machine in early 2014. The tunnel boring is scheduled to take a year to complete. Other activities in coming months include an extension of Hugh Street, the demolition of several buildings on Williams Street to build a new bus loop for the central station area, and the staging and start of construction of the Ioco Station.
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