April 25, 2005

More assessment to be done on rapid transit project

VICTORIA, BC-British Columbia's Environmental Assessment Office will be conducting further assessment on a portion of the "cut and cover" section of the Richmond Airport-Vancouver (RAV) rapid transit project proposed by TransLink and RAVCo, a subsidiary of the Vancouver International Airport Authority. The estimated $1.72-billion project has already undergone a joint review by the Environmental Assessment Office and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. However, BC's ministers of Sustainable Resource Management; Water, Land and Air Protection; and Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services specified a portion of the RAV line, where cut-and-cover technology will be used, for which they require a further assessment. This will also allow for additional public comment between April 25 and May 16, 2005. The ministers will make a decision on the project based on the findings of this further assessment, which will be submitted in a supplementary report. The project application was referred to provincial ministers for a decision on April 13. The proposal calls for a 19.5-kilometre electric rail rapid transit line to connect central Richmond, Vancouver International Airport and downtown Vancouver. The route will include 17 stations: four in Richmond, four on Sea Island and nine in Vancouver. SNC Lavalin/Serco has been selected to design, build, operate and maintain the RAV line. The project would be funded by the governments of Canada and British Columbia, along with TransLink and the Vancouver International Airport Authority. More information on the RAV project is available on the Environmental Assessment Office Web site, www.eao.gov.bc.ca/.

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