New Westminster: Construction of a new multi-use overpass across the busy Stewardson Way is starting soon, which will benefit thousands of pedestrians and cyclists by giving them a safer way to cross this street.

“The Government of Canada recognizes that having accessible active transportation options is key to developing green inclusive communities,” said François-Philippe Champagne, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “We are proud to have helped make this new overpass possible, which will provide a safer route for pedestrians and cyclists across some of the city’s busiest roads, and encourage people to stay active while moving around the city.”

“Pedestrians and cyclists have been frustrated with the absence of a safe crossing on this stretch of Stewardson Way,” said Claire Trevena, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “This project puts the safety of people first by separating pedestrians and cyclists from a busy street.”

The new overpass will be located east of the Queensborough Bridge where there is no pedestrian crosswalk. It will allow pedestrians and cyclists to safely cross 6th Avenue and Stewardson Way. The overpass will also provide easier access to Grimston Park, the 22nd Street transit exchange and the Millennium/Expo SkyTrain station. The project is expected to get underway in January 2019 and be completed in summer.

The $5.1-million Stewardson Way pedestrian/cyclist overpass project is being implemented through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF), which is funded by the Government of Canada at 50% for eligible costs, with the Province of British Columbia providing 33% and TransLink 17%. Kingston Construction Ltd. has been awarded the contract.

Judy Darcy, MLA for New Westminster said: “I know how important this new overpass is for our city, people need to be able to safely cross this busy road on foot or on a bike. I am so pleased that our government is able to deliver this crossing, so pedestrians, cyclists and drivers can get to their destination safely.”

Kevin Desmond, CEO, TransLink said: “Building better, safer connections in communities benefits everyone, and this project is a great example of how the PTIF funds are being used to improve walking, cycling and transit connectivity. Investments in this project and upgrades to the 22nd Street Exchange help ensure our rapidly growing region will grow in a way that is sustainable, and is a place where residents have great choices for how they navigate their cities.”