Prairie Avenue Improvements

Major pedestrian safety and streetscape improvements are coming to Prairie Avenue, starting with the section from Coast Meridian Road to Burns Road.

The three kilometre stretch of Prairie Avenue between Shaughnessy Street and Fremont Street sees more than 13,000 cars per day and is a critical connector to residents and businesses living and travelling to the north side of the community.

In addition to enhancing safety and function, the improvements will support the beautification and future redevelopment of the north side business area.

Work Begins in Winter 2020/Spring 2021

The Prairie Avenue improvements have been divided into three phases.

Phase 1

Phase one includes sanitary and storm main upgrades along Prairie Avenue between Cedar Drive and Fremont Street. This work has been completed and temporary restoration is in place.

Phase 2

Phase two includes road construction along Prairie Avenue between Coast Meridian Road and Burns Road.  Construction has begun as of Spring 2021 and will be completed in smaller phases with scheduled completion for Spring 2022.  The scope of work includes the following:

  • 3.0m wide multi-use pathway on the south side of Prairie Avenue between Coast Meridian Road and Fremont Street
  • 3.0m wide multi-use pathway on the north side of Prairie Avenue between Fremont Street and Burns Road (pending Provincial Environmental approvals related to the waterway adjacent to the site between Fremont Street and Burns Road)
  • New sidewalk on the north side of Prairie Avenue between Coast Meridian Road and Fremont Street
  • Parking lanes on both sides of the roadway
  • New traffic circle at the intersection of Prairie Avenue and Newberry Street
  • New raised median east of the intersection at Prairie Avenue and Coast Meridian Road
  • New LED street lighting
  • Boulevard trees on the south side of Prairie Avenue
  • Road reconstruction and new pavement

Phase 3

Phase three will be a continuation of Phase two between Shaughnessy Street and Coast Meridian Road, and is tentatively scheduled for construction in Spring/Summer 2023 or 2024.

Background

As part of the planned rehabilitation works on Prairie Avenue, the City has been considering additional improvements along the corridor to meet the community’s future needs.

This corridor is a primary entry point for the north side neighbourhoods and commercial zone, yet lacks modern streetscape features in many areas. Additionally, traffic congestion has continued to increase along the corridor.

In 2017, the City allocated funding in the Capital Program for road design and construction improvements. Design options and concept plans were developed in 2018 and 2019, with the work including traffic studies, and a review of best practices.

At the June 11, 2019 Committee of Council Meeting, staff were approved to proceed with public consultation on the planned improvements.

Three options with a variety of configurations were presented to the public for feedback in September. The approved concept design is based on a fourth option that reflects public feedback and traffic analysis data.

Features

A variety of modern streetscape features will be introduced along Prairie Avenue. No additional traffic lanes are proposed.

Some of the features are shown below, with details provided in the staff reports linked on this page.

Service Connection Upgrades

Pavement life typically ranges between 15 and 35 years depending on traffic volume, vehicle loading, maintenance performed and pavement structure. Utility cuts reduce pavement life because they increase the risk of water infiltrating into the joint, which removes fines in the gravel base, causing loss of pavement strength and failure (e.g. potholes). Ride quality and appearance is also degraded with a patchwork of repairs completed on a road over a period of time.

Accordingly, the City is currently revising its subdivision servicing bylaw to limit road cuts and ensure high quality pavement repairs in order to better protect City infrastructure. Once approved, all pavement repairs will be subject to a higher repair standard and a pavement degradation fee.

Understanding these new requirements are under consideration, the City is providing properties within the project limits, an opportunity to upgrade their service connections in conjunction with the City’s construction program. This would be an advantageous opportunity if you intend to develop your property, construct a new home or perform significant renovations/additions that require upsizing of your existing water service connection to meet sprinkler system requirements, or new storm or sanitary service connections.

Should you want to proceed with the service connection upgrades, all associated costs will be the residents’ responsibility and payment must be received prior to construction. Cost will vary depending on size and length of each service.

Please contact the Engineering Department for more information.

Construction Impacts

Storm and sanitary installations will begin in Winter 2021.

Every effort will be made to carry out the work with as little inconvenience as possible. Some of the potential impacts are noted below.

Boulevards

Some Prairie Avenue residents have installed permanent structures or significant landscaping on the City road allowance or boulevard (the space between the road edge and property line). Examples include sprinkler systems, walls, fences, and large trees and hedges.

While these types of enhancements may be common, they are not permitted by the City’s Road Boulevard Maintenance Bylaw, and may be in the way of planned improvements based on the option and features chosen.

In these cases we will work with the owners, providing them with appropriate advance notice if they wish to remove their features before any work takes place.

Click here for more information about the rules for boulevards.

Parking

The introduction of curb extensions and crosswalks for pedestrian safety will delineate street parking (creating “parking pockets”) and have a nominal impact on the number of available spaces. There are an estimated 646 parking stalls along Prairie from Shaughnessy to Fremont (322 on the north, 324 on the south).

We approximate that parking along the corridor would be nominally decreased for option 1 (-25) and option 2 (-7), and increased in option 3 (+52).

Traffic

Construction will cause some waits and detours, but the City will work to minimize the inconvenience to drivers and corridor users. Alternate routes will be provided and scheduling will take into account peak traffic hours.

Businesses

All precautions will be made to ensure business needs are understood.  Throughout the course of the project, there may be temporary impacts to the access points of businesses. Should this be necessary, the contractor will provide proper notice and signage to guide customers to alternative access points. The contractor and the City will arrange for a meeting prior to beginning any work which may impact  businesses.

Construction Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As with all construction work taking place in Port Coquitlam, strict provisions will be in place to ensure workers are following all public health requirements, which differ slightly for construction sites and essential services than those for the public. The city is closely monitoring updates provided by health authorities and will take any necessary action directed by the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Project Timeline

The following timeline may be affected by weather and other variables.

  • 2018-2019: Research and development of design concepts
  • September 2019: Public consultation: open house Sept. 18, online survey Sept. 3-30
  • November 2019: Staff report with recommendations to proceed to detail design; Council decision
  • Winter 2021: Utility works from Cedar Drive to Fremont Street
  • Spring to Fall 2021: Multi-use path construction and roadworks from Coast Meridian Road to Burns Road
  • Spring/Summer 2023 or 2024: Multi-use path construction and roadworks from Shaughnessy Street to Coast Meridian Road

Contact

Engineering & Public Works
Tel: 604.927.5420
Email  engineering@portcoquitlam.ca