– EVERGREEN LINE: Wanting & working may not be enough to get station

Tri-City News

By Diane Strandberg

If Port Moody residents want a third Evergreen Line station at the western end of the city, they’ll have to work to get it.

That was the suggestion of one official speaking at a meeting regarding the preliminary design plans for Evergreen.

Raymond Louie, a TransLink official who worked on the Canada Line, said developers and the community actively pursued locations for some of the stations on the Vancouver-to-Richmond transit project — and got their wish.

But affordability and ridership will determine whether a third station is viable in Port Moody, he said.

The concern is that adding a third station will simply draw riders from other stations, thus adding costs without increasing ridership.

Several members of Port Moody’s Western Station Committee were on hand to promote a third station and one local businessman asked why it wasn’t in the plans in the first place.

Fred Soofi said, “It’s a little strange” the station wasn’t included, “even though lots of people are living there.”

He was assured that a study is under way to look at the feasibility of a western station.

“We’re looking for added feedback,” Louie said. “That’s exactly what we want to hear.”

Council has already gone on record as supporting a third station for the city.

Meanwhile, visitors to the meeting Wednesday night got a chance to find out more about property requirements for the project.

Executive project director Dave Duncan confirmed subsurface rights are being negotiated with property owners whose houses sit above the planned 2 km tunnel but owners don’t have to worry about excavations they might have to do in the future because the tunnel will be deep — between 17 metres (six storeys) and 50 metres (17 to 20 storeys) underground.

Talks are also ongoing with property owners south of the CP Rail tracks between the proposed Port Moody Station (near the West Coast Express station) and Golden Spike Lane. The Evergreen Line needs more space because the rail alignment is too narrow to accommodate both the rail tracks and the Evergreen Line in that location. Tenants as well as property owners will be compensated, it was confirmed.

Duncan also confirmed that negotiations are underway with CP Rail and a memorandum of understanding has already been signed to allow technical work to take place along the rail right of way.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

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