Council approves Burnaby Overpass exterior finishes

The Burnaby Lake Overpass is one step closer to becoming a reality after council approved the new suggested exterior finishes during their meeting on Monday, Sept. 11. Amy Choh, director of engineering transportation with the city, and Eric Birkhauser from VIA Architecture outlined the advantages of the new weathering steel finish in a presentation. The original plan was to paint it white, but the presenters said that white paint is less sustainable, more toxic, and will require higher maintenance costs. They added that weathering steel is more durable than white paint, contains a higher recycled content, and has a 120-year lifespan, while being resistant to scratching and graffiti. They added that the low-slip, warm-coloured concrete surface will be easier to maintain during winter, providing a safer surface for pedestrians and cyclists. Other design features include colourful lighting to improve visibility and aesthetics.

The new pedestrian and cyclist overpass is part of Burnaby’s transportation plan which, according to the city, aims to “create a sustainable, safe and accessible transportation system that supports a vibrant economy and responds to climate change.”

Bruce Foster and Shiela Phipps from the Lower Mainland Purpose Society were also at council to talk about the program’s Burnaby Rent Bank. The Burnaby Rent Bank provides short-term, interest-free, low-fee loans to individuals and families facing a temporary crisis to help them stay in their homes. In their presentation, they mentioned that the affordable housing crisis in Burnaby is making it a struggle to keep some lower to medium income individuals and families housed. “Some of our clients do have addiction issues, gambling, they don’t access proper government benefits, so [we’re] connecting them to those types of services, income assistance, credit counselors,” Phipps said. “It’s about finding out the lifestyle choices and how can we support them to make a positive change so they’re not visiting us again.” Maximum loans are $1900 for individuals and $3000 for families. The bank pays funds directly to landlords or utility companies.

In case you missed it, council members voted unanimously to keep City Hall in its current location near Deer Lake. Make sure to take a look at our previous piece on this.

Lubna El Elaimy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Burnaby Beacon