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Joint release: New Burnaby rail overpass will improve community connections, safety and trade

Press Release

July 9, 2024

Vancouver, B.C.: Construction of a new four-lane overpass crossing the rail lines at Holdom Avenue in Burnaby will begin in late 2024. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is delivering the Holdom Overpass project in partnership with the City of Burnaby, CN, and the Government of Canada.

The overpass will extend Holdom Avenue south over the rail corridor and Still Creek, connecting it with Douglas Road. Once complete, there will be an increase of rail capacity for Port of Vancouver terminals, supporting the reliable movement of goods through the region, and improved traffic flow and safety for the Burnaby community.

The rail corridor through Burnaby is the only rail connection to transport goods and commodities to and from port terminals located in North Vancouver, a vital link in the national supply chain that connects Canadian products like grain and fertilizer to global markets. The rail corridor moves more than 40 million metric tonnes of export cargo, accounting for more than 40% of the port’s total international exports in 2023.

The City of Burnaby identified the Holdom Overpass as an important solution to provide better access and improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians, commuters, and first responders as part of its transportation plans. The Holdom Overpass active transportation facilities will improve connections to the Holdom Skytrain station, which is a main hub for cyclists and pedestrians, making travel from the Skytrain station to areas south of the rail tracks — such as the Central Valley Greenway — safer, faster, and more reliable.

Canada’s trade through the region is growing, and the project is designed to mitigate the impacts of trade on those who live, work and commute in Burnaby. It will provide significant community benefits, including improved safety and traffic flows, reduced greenhouse gas emissions from less idling traffic at the existing crossing, better community access by creating more reliable travel times, and better emergency response options.

The project will add to the rail improvements completed by CN in 2022, which included updates to the Thornton Tunnel to reduce the time between trains travelling through the tunnel and a new rail siding track running from Willingdon Avenue to Piper Avenue.

The port authority has previously completed two phases of public engagement and continuous First Nations consultation, and input from these efforts has helped shape the overpass design. Public space surrounding the overpass will include First Nations cultural recognition, public art, and improved landscaping in the Still Creek and Beecher Creek areas.

The road enhancements are part of the Burnaby Rail Corridor Improvements Project, a series of road and rail improvements to increase transportation efficiency and trade capacity through Port of Vancouver terminals on the North Shore. The Burnaby Rail Corridor Improvements Project is funded by the Government of Canada, through its National Trade Corridors Fund, the port authority, and CN.

Learn more about the Holdom Overpass at


Peter Xotta, President and Chief Executive Officer, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

“We are pleased to partner with the City of Burnaby, CN, and the Government of Canada to begin construction on the Holdom Overpass in Burnaby. The new overpass will create critical capacity and resiliency in the gateway, ensuring that we can enable Canada’s trade more reliably and efficiently, while also delivering tremendous benefits to the local community in Burnaby.”

Mayor Mike Hurley, City of Burnaby

“We are excited to see the Holdom Overpass project moving forward, as it will make Burnaby more connected and accessible for everyone. Whether you are driving, taking transit, walking or biking, everyone will benefit from this infrastructure upgrade that will reduce travel times and improve safety in our community.”

Tracy Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer, CN

“CN is proud to be a partner on the Holdom Overpass project. This vital piece of infrastructure will improve safety and accessibility to the citizens of Burnaby, as well as increase efficiency for the Port’s operations including greater rail capacity to and from Port terminals in North Vancouver. This project demonstrates our commitment to moving the economy with safer, more efficient transportation solutions benefiting both our customers and the communities we serve. Together with our partners, we are committed to strengthening global supply chains, supporting growth and a sustainable future for Canada’s economy.”

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport, Canada

“By investing in projects like the Holdom Overpass, we’re addressing current transportation needs, supporting our supply chains to make life cost less for Canadians, and also building the infrastructure to support vibrant, growing communities that are great places to work, live, and raise a family.”

About the City of Burnaby

The City of Burnaby is the third-largest city in British Columbia, Canada, with a population of about 250,000. Located at the geographic centre of Metro Vancouver, Burnaby is a dynamic and diverse community that offers a rich quality of life for its residents, businesses and visitors. Burnaby is home to world-class parks, cultural facilities and educational institutions, and is a hub for the high-tech and film industries, attracting innovation and talent from around the world. Burnaby is also committed to environmental sustainability, social inclusion and civic engagement.

About CN

CN powers the economy by safely transporting more than 300 million tons of natural resources, manufactured products, and finished goods throughout North America every year for its customers. With its nearly 20,000-mile rail network and related transportation services, CN connects Canada’s Eastern and Western coasts with the U.S. Midwest and the Gulf of Mexico, contributing to sustainable trade and the prosperity of the communities in which it operates since 1919.

About the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and the Port of Vancouver

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is the federal agency responsible for the shared stewardship of the Port of Vancouver. Like all Canada Port Authorities, we are accountable to the federal minister of transport, and operate pursuant to the Canada Marine Act with a mandate to enable Canada’s trade through the Port of Vancouver, while protecting the environment and considering local communities. The port authority is structured as a non-share corporation, is financially self-sufficient and does not rely on tax dollars for operations. Our revenues come from port terminals and tenants who lease port lands, and from port users who pay various fees such as harbour dues. Profits are reinvested in port infrastructure. The port authority oversees the use of port land and water, which includes more than 16,000 hectares of water, over 1,500 hectares of land, and approximately 350 kilometres of shoreline. Located on the southwest coast of British Columbia in Canada, the Port of Vancouver extends from Roberts Bank and the Fraser River up to and including Burrard Inlet, bordering 16 municipalities and intersecting the traditional territories and treaty lands of more than 35 Coast Salish Indigenous groups. The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s largest port, and the third largest in North America by tonnes of cargo. Enabling the trade of approximately $300 billion in goods with between 140 and 170 countries each year, port activities sustain 115,300 jobs, $7 billion in wages, and $11.9 billion in GDP across Canada.



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