The City of Coquitlam and the province appear to be bridging the gap over longstanding signage concerns near the Port Mann Bridge.
A representative from the Ministry of Transportation appeared before council in committee Monday to outline a series of ongoing improvements that now link antiquated route names with actual destinations.
Up until the last month, the vast majority of signs used numbers only to indicate major routes in the area: Barnet Highway being referred to as Highway 7A, Lougheed Highway appearing on signage as Highway 7, and Route 7B being used as a place name for the Mary Hill Bypass.
Now those signs include specific destinations - pointing motorists to Coquitlam City Centre or Maple Ridge, among other places - alongside those numeric designations.
"We've tried to address most of the issues," said Patrick Livolsi, the south coast regional director with the Ministry of
Transportation. "That's not to say that there's not more tweaking that can go on ... I think people are finding it a little bit easier to figure out their destination."
Livolsi said 26 new signs have gone up near the bridge and around the Cape Horn Interchange in the last month. Three more signs will be added next year when the bridge is fully expanded to handle 10 lanes of traffic.
Livolsi added that his ministry hasn't "really received any complaints," since those changes were made.
Mayor Richard Stewart noted the signage issue was previously the biggest single source of complaints related to the Port Mann Bridge/Highway 1 Improvement project, even more so than construction noise.
However, Stewart and others on council suggested the vast majority of their signage concerns have been addressed.
"The transformation [of the Cape Horn Interchange] is incredible and the fact that you've been able to keep it open and keep it running, I think is just an engineering marvel," said Coun. Craig Hodge.
Despite all those positives, a series of concerns did remain, mostly around the state of the Brunette Avenue Interchange, which Coun. Lou Sekora referred to as a "disaster."
Livolsi conceded that not much high-level planning for the area can take place until a final decision is made on how to replace the 76-year-old Pattullo Bridge.
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