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Mundy Park trails move to update Coquitlam works yard

Coquitlam’s old works yard at 500 Mariner Way is about to get a lift.

Coquitlam’s old works yard is about to get a lift.

Last week, council OK’d the final design to renew the Austin Works Yard, the city’s main public works operations centre that went up in the 1950s at 500 Mariner Way.

The first phase of the update, which is slated to start in January, will see a new fleet maintenance and workshop building. 

The western side of the works yard and the bulk storage area will also expand to the north and west, while the vacated workshop spaces within the Water Sewer Utility Building will be converted for administration, and the existing Fleet Maintenance and Auxiliary Building will be razed.

And, to move the paved Mundy Park Community Path greenway and gravel Austin Trail Path offsite, a new path will be carved on the northern and western sides, outside of the works yard. That new trail is expected to be ready by next summer and will link with a future extension to the King Albert Greenway.

The $35 million capital project is set to be finished by the spring of 2024, according to a report from parks GM Lanny Englund to council on Nov. 22, who also noted that some trees will be cut for the trails’ relocation.

“Staff have worked closely with a professional forester/arborist and landscape architect to ensure the realigned pathways avoid mature, large diameters,” Englund wrote. “However, trees with pre-existing defects or decay and trees likely to pose a future fall risk will be removed from the general trail route area to ensure safety for park users.”

“Any trees removed as part of the works will be replaced by the city with native trees within the Mundy Park Forest Reserve boundaries,” Englund wrote.

The tree chop will also reduce the forested buffer for homeowners west of the yard, Mayor Richard Stewart warned.

Coun. Brent Asmundson said the renewal project has been on the city’s radar for years. He said the yard is inefficient as fire trucks and other large vehicles can’t get inside for repairs.

Meanwhile, city staff are looking to secure grants under the CleanBC program to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the yard.

The works yard includes the engineering and public works operations and maintenance department (roads, water, sewer, solid waste operations); the parks operations and maintenance division; traffic operations; fleet and equipment;  purchasing/stores; facilities carpentry shops; engineering survey; and the Coquitlam Animal Shelter.