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Brace for congestion: Major water main work set for downtown Vancouver in January

City of Vancouver set to begin major water main repairs in heart of downtown
WATCH: City of Vancouver set to begin major water main repairs in heart of downtown

Commuters who need to access downtown Vancouver are being warned to plan ahead and expect delays as the city gears up for major water main construction next month.

The City of Vancouver will begin replacement work on a water main under West Georgia Street between Thurlow and Howe streets on Jan. 6, 2020.

READ MORE: Water main break floods homes in North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley

That work will result in crews blocking several lanes on Georgia until April 2020.

The city says a minimum of three traffic lanes — two westbound lanes and one eastbound lane — will be available to commuters during the work.

During rush hour, two lanes will be available in each direction.

The city says the water main facing replacement is nearly 100 years old and has a history of frequent breaks. Last Wednesday there was a break on Georgia sending a spout of water dozens of metres into the air and snarling traffic.

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“The new water main will last about 100 years and contribute to a more seismically resilient water network,” said the city in a media release.

In addition to the water main work, the city says Cadillac Fairview will also be doing road membrane work along Howe Street between Dunsmuir and Georgia streets starting in February.

What’s behind the third water main break in Metro Vancouver in a week?
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That work is a part of the company’s revitalization of Pacific Centre. Cadillac Fairview will be conducting similar work on Georgia between Granville and Howe streets in May, construction which is expected to last until next October.

The city says a minimum of one lane will be maintained in each direction during the work, with three lanes opening in mid-summer.