Traffic between the two cities should flow and are working together on a new task force to come up with a solution to gridlock on the Brunette interchange.
The task force, headed by Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart and his New West counterpart, Jonathan Coté, will look at three options put forth by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Stewart said the goal of the task force is to choose an option that will satisfy the needs and concerns of both cities and improve safety in what is his city's most dangerous traffic corridor.
"The hope is that we might be able to choose an option," Stewart told The Tri-City News. "It might be a blend of options, [and] it would be something that enables both communities to achieve what we want to achieve."
He added: "I'm hopeful and optimistic we can get there."
Both mayors have concerns about traffic but Coquitlam's issues also include pedestrian connectivity to the Braid SkyTrain station and the ability of people and ambulances to get to nearby Royal Columbian Hospital, which is undergoing an expansion.
Coquitlam's mayor is also concerned about safety of the interchange, which handles 60,000 transportation movements daily and is the site of numerous collisions.
There have already been two open houses for each city and an additional meeting for New Westminster residents who are concerned about the impact of an overpass on their neighbourhood.
In Coquitlam, concerns include maintaining the character of Maillardville and protecting properties and businesses while improving traffic flow through the area, the mayor said.
"We both want to ensure our residents are protected, that our businesses are protected and managing a major corridor though what used to be downtown Maillardville is something that is a big consideration."
Although the options vary in terms of the types of infrastructure and their location, all three turn Brunette Avenue into a direct connection between New West and Coquitlam while diverting regional traffic along an extended Blue Mountain Street. Alternatives to the United Boulevard/Braid Street connection between the two cities over a bailey bridge and railway crossings are also proposed in the three options.
The task force is expected to report out on Feb. 27; the two Coquitlam city councillors on the committee are Mae Reid and Brent Asmundson.
• For more information visit engage.gov.bc.ca/brunetteinterchange.