PORT MOODY (NEWS1130) – After more than a decade of debate, delays and funding debacles, construction is finally about to start on the billion-dollar Evergreen Line!
It will cost $1.4 billion for six stations linking the Tri-Cities and the existing Millenium Line.
BC Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom says there will be disruptions, but not like the Canada Line. “This is a bored tunnel, so there’s not cut and cover in that it would affect the businesses as it did on the other line. I think we’ve learned some things [from that].”
“It’s a very significant amount of money being spent. But at the end of the day, when you look at the benefits of what it will do for the people of this region and our province, I think it’s money well-spent,” he explains.
He adds the Evergreen Line should create jobs, ease road congestion and reduce pollution. As part of the announcement, two local companies have been awarded contracts for pre-construction.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart says this project will mean more jobs and more taxpayers. “The growth is going to happen. We can shape it with rapid transit by making sure that we do a lot of extra growth around those stations and put population density — as well as business and job intensity — around transit stations and make it a more sustainable community.”
Michael Hind with the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce says they’ve been waiting 13-years too long for the project that will benefit so many people in the Lower Mainland.
“I think it’s good for everybody; it opens up the region to people from all over who access the SkyTrain, who can get off and come up to the Tri-Cities and do business out here,” explains Hind. “I think people are excited that construction’s finally getting started.”
News1130 spoke with people in Port Moody on their way to work this morning, asking if they will be hopping on board. Some say they may not take the new train every day, but they do see the benefit.
“Transit here is alright, but it’ll definitely help,” says one man.
“I guess it’ll probably ease a lot of congestion, having another transit system,” says another.
Others don’t like change. “I like the train and I’m not really a big fan of the SkyTrain, so I’ll continue to use the West Coast Express,” one woman tells us.