Westbound drivers along a major Coquitlam road will be detoured south — for at least a month — while FortisBC digs up part of the street for a new natural gas line.
The Como Lake Avenue diversion that started Monday reaches from Schoolhouse to Blue Mountain streets, with Foster Avenue as its link.
Last Friday, FortisBC’s community relations team dropped letters to neighbourhood residents and answered questions about the detour and the open-cut construction project, which will see sections of Como Lake Avenue ripped up until the fall to install a 30” steel pipe, down about five metres.
The most recent work involves closing the westbound lanes (except for local traffic, buses and emergency services) and keeping one eastbound lane open for all traffic; flag people are on site to direct drivers.
Construction on the gas line upgrade started on March 11 at Como Lake Avenue and North Road, and on March 13 between Blue Mountain and Porter streets.
And the two-week spring break in School District 43 combined with the stretch of good weather for the last part of March was a boon for the trades, said Alex Munro, FortisBC’s corporate communications advisor for major projects, during a site tour last Friday with The Tri-City News.
The work is being watched closely by area business owners and residents like Catherine Hubbs, who lives in the Baker Drive area and recently set up a chat site on Facebook (the closed group page now has some 430 members).
“Speaking with people prior to the start of the project, there were a lot of people living up and down the [Como Lake Avenue] corridor who weren’t aware or only marginally aware of the scope of this project and the impact it would have on their day-to-day lives,” she said, noting her page gives regular updates from FortisBC and the city of Coquitlam. “People are using the group as a platform to voice their concerns and, when issues are identified, we can use our collective voice to lobby those in charge.”
Munro said FortisBC will update its website as the work moves east along Como Lake Avenue to the gate station, at the corner of Mariner Way and Spuraway Avenue. That station, which helps to regulate pressure of the natural gas, is currently being razed with a replacement scheduled to be built starting next month.
Munro said while the $500-million construction project has caused traffic snarls and hurt access to some businesses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Coquitlam, it also used about 225 B.C. suppliers last year including about $9 million worth of work going to 36 Tri-City companies.