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Port Moody puts the brakes on a third SkyTrain station

The city will have to get a lot more populous before it could support another station, say councillors.
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A steep gradient and geotechnical issues west of Queens Street would make construction of a third SkyTrain station in Port Moody a complicated and expensive proposition, says a consultant's report.

Port Moody won’t be getting a third SkyTrain station.

At least not in the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, council voted not to approve spending up to $150,000 for a feasibility study and engineering assessment of a possible third station on the Evergreen line, between the existing Moody Centre station and Barnet Highway.

The prospect of an additional commuter rail stop had been championed by Mayor Rob Vagramov as a way to serve anticipated growth in Port Moody’s west end.

Last December council gave its final approval to a redevelopment plan for the city’s 23.4-acre Woodland Park neighbourhood near Clarke Road that will attract up to 4,000 new residents.

As well, a new 222-unit condo project was recently green-lit for the old Barnet Hotel site at the corner of Clarke and the Barnet Highway and another just up the hill is in the early stages of construction.

The old Andrés Wine site is also awaiting a redevelopment plan that could add more than 400 residential units, as well as commercial components.

But until all those projects are built, spending money to chase another SkyTrain station doesn’t make sense, said Coun. Meghan Lahti, especially since the park-and-ride lot at the Moody Centre station sits largely vacant most days.

“We haven’t really been able to put the emphasis on the two SkyTrain stations we have,” she said. “It’s like spending good money after bad.”

Coun. Zoe Royer agreed.

“I would love to see a third station, but it’s going to take a political will that involves development in a big way.”

It could also take up to $100 million to build according to a consultant’s report presented to council last October.

Allison Clavelle, a transportation engineer and principal at Urban Systems, said in that report while the SkyTrain guideway that runs through Port Moody was originally designed to accommodate a future station at Queens Street, its proximity to the nearby Moody Centre station likely means it wouldn’t attract much additional ridership.

And placing the station further west would require expensive engineering and realignment of the tracks because of the area’s gradient that could boost such a project to nine figures.

But some councillors suggested the notion of another SkyTrain station shouldn’t be completely spiked just yet.

Coun. Diana Dilworth said it might be a “viable discussion” in 10 years, while Coun. Hunter Madsen predicted the idea would be revisited sometime in the future, “but a number of things have to fall into place.”