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Port Coquitlam downtown projects hit by construction challenges

A competitive construction market and supply chain issues have delayed some key infrastructure projects, but PoCo is still moving ahead on upgrades at Veterans Park, Leigh Square and the Donald Pathway.
0128 Port Coquitlam Veterans Park anti-smoking bylaw
Work updating Veterans Park in Port Coquitlam has been delayed until this winter so Remembrance Day will go ahead at the cenotaph as usual.

High construction costs and supply chain issues are being blamed for delays to three capital projects that were slated to improve walking, cycling and public gatherings in downtown Port Coquitlam.

This includes road and cycling upgrades to Kingsway Avenue from Tyner to Coast Meridian, improvements to Veterans Park and rebuilding the McAllister pedestrian bridge.

"Some projects are being delayed or adjusted to reduce the impact of the highly competitive construction market and supply chain issues, and to take advantage of additional provincial or federal grant opportunities," a city news release states.

However, a lengthy list of neighbourhood projects is proceeding as planned this summer, while the delays to the Veterans Park upgrade will mean Remembrance Day activities can go ahead as usual and there will be no disruption to the iconic Port Coquitlam Car Show and Cruise which takes place Aug. 20, 21.

Additionally, Port Coquitlam is planning a street festival for Sept. 10, with entertainment, food, family activities and more to celebrate the completion of the $4.3-million McAllister Street upgrades.

Here's what is being delayed in Port Coquitlam, and why:

McAllister footbridge

The McAllister Avenue pedestrian bridge replacement will be moved to 2025-26 and take place in conjunction with streetscape improvements to Maple Street.

This change will coordinate construction, avoid damage to new infrastructure and allow for potential grant funding, according to the city. In the meantime, a safety assessment and maintenance will be carried out to insure stability of the footbridge.

Work had been planned for next year, at a cost of $2.2 million, including the cost of removing the old structure.

The new footbridge is designed to be wider than the current pedestrian bridge and will be able to accommodate public art.

Kingsway Avenue

Port Coquitlam had planned to spend about $5.5 million on improvements along Kingsway Avenue from Tyner Street to Coast Meridian Overpass in 2022 and between Coast Meridian Overpass and Kebet Way scheduled for next year.

Now, the two projects will be rolled in to one for 2023 while the city seeks additional funding for the project.

The news about changes to the Kingsway Avenue construction plans comes as TransLink has announced $306,000 for Kingsway Avenue road widening and a Multi-Use Path (MUP) from Tyner Street to Kebet Way and extending the path east of the Mary Hill Bypass.

The announcement was part of $5 miliion in projects for the Tri-Cities.

Veterans Square

Work on Veterans Park — initially planned to start this summer — will now begin in the winter, aligned with Civic Centre improvements, including Leigh Square and a Donald Pathway extension.

"Recent bids for the Veterans Park tender did not meet city specifications," the city adds.

It will now be re-tendered this fall while the city also seeks additional grant funding.

The intent is to complete the Veterans Park upgrades by spring and by fall 2023 finish the rest of the Civic Centre, which includes extending the Donald Pathway, and creating a festival area at Leigh Square.

Leigh Square changes will include:

  • Relocating the bandshell to back onto City Hall
  • A variety of ground-level and tiered seating
  • New water feature and improved lighting and landscaping
  • Accessible design with connecting pathways, including an expansion of Donald Pathway north from Wilson Avenue to weave through Leigh Square and the downtown
  • Safe, open design with clear views through the space
  • Opening up the Outlet’s west wall with sliding glass doors or storefronts to create a lively space between the building and City Hall
  • Redeveloping the space south of the Outlet for parking, event space and food truck staging
  • Reconstructing Donald Street and Leigh Square Place into one-way corridors, allowing for improved movement of pedestrians and cyclists and more green space.

New soccer hub in Gates Park

Meanwhile, work taking place around the community this summer includes:

  • Neighbourhood infrastructure updates, including road and lane resurfacing, sidewalks, streetlights and utility upgrades
  • New trees planted along neighbourhood and major roads
  • Safety upgrades with a focus on parks and schools, including crosswalks, speed bumps, elevated crossings and pedestrian flashing beacons
  • Active transportation upgrades such as sidewalks and multi-use paths
  • Improvements to the Traboulay PoCo Trail, including resurfacing, signs and fencing
  • Park, playground and field improvements, including new synthetic turf at Gates Park’s Turf 2 field for improved playability, drainage and safety

Coming up this fall, Port Coquitlam will begin the process to deliver a soccer and community hub at the far end of Gates Park.

Construction will begin in early 2023.

More details can be found on the soccer hub's page of the City of Port Coquitlam website.