Here's where you should avoid driving in Vancouver this spring and summer

Fifteen kilometres of roads. Eight kilometres of water mains. Five kilometres of sewers. That’s what city crews will be working on through the rest of this year, so drivers may want to seek alternate routes to get to their destinations.

Jerry Dobrovolny, the city’s general manager of engineering services, said about three quarters of the infrastructure in the city is water, sewer and roads worth billions of dollars, which require ongoing upgrades to ensure they remain in good working order. Whenever possible, the city tries to combine work at particular sites, such as water work and sewer replacement, to reduce the number of overall street closures or disruptions.

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This year, major city projects in the $10 million-plus range include:

  • Fraser Street: water, sewer and street upgrades underway until the summer of 2018. Details here.
  • Smithe Street: water, sewer and street upgrades through to the summer of 2018. Details here.
  • Quebec Street and First Avenue: street and safety upgrades. Details here.
  • St. Catherines Sewer Trunk: sewer separation and pedestrian safety work from the spring until the winter of 2018. Details here.
  • 10th Avenue Corridor: Heath precinct safety improvements, which started in the fall of 2017 will continue until the summer of 2018. Details here.
  • 10th Avenue (Alma to Macdonald Street): water and street work from May 2018 until the summer of 2018.

Major third-party utility projects include:

  • Fortis B.C. gas line upgrade along East First Avenue. Read more about that work here. It will see East First Avenue have partial and full closures over the spring and summer months and will be the largest job on a major arterial street in the city this year. Find other details from Fortis B.C. here.
  • Oakridge Centre Area Improvements: utility and street upgrades adjacent to Oakridge Centre to support growth around Cambie Corridor. Details here.

The complete list of roadwork planned in Vancouver can be found at vancouver.ca/roadwork or through the city’s Van Connect app.

To address some of the anticipated congestion due to the work on East First Avenue, the city will be extending rush hour regulations on Hastings and Broadway. Morning rush hour regulations will run from 7 to 10 a.m., while evening rush hour will run from 3 to 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, rush hour regulations along Georgia Street downtown will be updated later this year.

Dobrovolny also said there has been record levels of filming on Vancouver streets in recent years and he expects 2018 to be another very busy year. More than 150 productions will be filming throughout the city.

“It’s a tremendous boost to our economy in terms of all the jobs and all the activity that it generates and we know it’s also disruptive for neighbourhoods and for commuters,” he said.

Various special events are also planned in coming months that will affect road use. Large-scale ones include:

  • Vaisakhi Parade: April 14
  • Earth Day parade: April 21
  • Vancouver Sun Run: April 22
  • BMO Half Marathon: May 6
  • Italian Day: June 10
  • Car Free Days: June 16/17, July 8
  • Greek Day: June 24
  • Scotiabank Half Marathon: June 24
  • Canada Day celebrations and parade: July 1
  • Khatsahlano street party: July 7
  • Celebration of Light: July 28, Aug. 1, Aug. 4
  • Pride Parade: Aug. 5
  • Our City Ride: Aug. 18

noconnor@vancourier.com

@naoibh

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