Vancouver Votes to Remove Downtown Viaducts; Obstacles Remain
"Vancouver city councillors have voted 5-4 to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, which connect the downtown core to neighbourhoods on the city's east side," reports CBC News. Mayor Gregor Robertson called the decision "a once-in-a-generation city-building opportunity," in a written statement following the vote.
The vote kicks off an 18-month planning process [pdf]. Brian Jackson, the city's general manager of planning and development, "said it was "a 'critical time' to remove the viaducts, because the development of nearby land owned by Concord Pacific would only make the proposition more expensive," according to the CBC News.
There's at least one provincial-sized obstacle remaining for the plan to come to fruition. British Columbia Transportation Minister Todd Stone took to a public platform the day after the vote to put the brakes on the city's plan. "I checked with my officials and it has been a number of years since the city took any meaningful steps to reach out to PAVCO which owns and operates B.C. place," said Stone, as quoted in a separate article by CBC News.