We’ve all been there — the mad scramble to the ferry or Friday dash for the border that’s surprisingly disrupted by construction, filming or road work.

Your beers are getting warmer by the minute, the ferry has left the terminal and now you’re angry.
Jerry Dobrovolny maintains that it needn’t be so.


The city’s engineering manager laid out Thursday morning a schedule of construction projects, road upgrades and other large-scale projects ahead of their spring and summer start dates.

Dobrovolny’s key talking point was the need for pre-planning long before the trip, and potential frustration, sets in. The city’s website, the VanConnect app and social media should be your go-tos before it’s go time.

“If you take advantage of the many options we produce for people to understand what’s happening, it’s easy to get around this city in a variety of ways regardless of which mode you choose,” Dobrovolny said.

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Of the roughly 30 kilometres’ worth of roadwork being done this year, none of it will cause the level of disruption seen during last year’s construction on First Avenue, Dobrovolny said.

It’s going to be a cruel, cruel summer for Vancouver drivers. Screen grab Google Maps
Vancouver drivers plan out your drive this spring and summer. Screen grab Google Maps

Most of the jobs on the city’s to-do list include modernizing sewers and other underground work, along with pedestrian and sidewalk improvements. Dobrovolny said the city’s “one-dig” policy aims to conduct upgrades alongside any utilities replacement so that any necessary work is done in tandem.

Nanaimo Street

  • Sewer and street safety upgrades spanning Fourth Avenue to McGill Street. One lane in either direction will remain open for the duration of work, which runs until spring 2020. The current sewer line was laid in 1905 and is being separated into two streams to divert sewage and rainwater. Pedestrian crossings and sidewalk improvements are also taking place.
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Granville Street bridge

  • Structural and seismic upgrades that will run until 2021. A pubic consultation on the future uses of the bridge deck is underway and will last all year.

“We don’t need anywhere near eight lanes in terms of vehicle capacity. The vehicles could easily fit into four lanes,” Dobrovolny said.

Quebec Street near Second Avenue, Science World

  • The underground pipe network used to heat Olympic Village is being expanded to other parts of southeast False Creek in a project that will extend into spring 2020. While the utility work is being done, the street network and sidewalks are also being repaired.

West End

  • The bulk of the work is taking place on near Haro, Bute, Denman and Chilco streets to replace a water main installed in 1913. The work is expected to continue until the summer of next year and Dobrovolny characterized the job as both “very large” and “very disruptive.”
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Boundary Road

  • Running from First Avenue to the Grandview Highway, the workload includes sidewalk and road maintenance, along with replacing a water main. Traffic signal upgrades will happen at the First Avenue and Lougheed Hwy intersection and new street lighting is being installed as well.

Macdonald Street

  • Sewer and street infrastructure improvements are slated for the stretch of Macdonald running from First to 16th Avenue. Sewer upgrades will help divert waste water from flowing into English Bay.  

Outside of those construction projects, some major festivals and events are coming down the turn pike in short order: Vaisahki Parade (April 13), Sun Run (April 14) and the BMO Half Marathon (May 5).

To save yourself the headache, log on to vancouver.ca/road-closure.

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