Excavator digging up sewer line with opening visible

Sewer renewal starts in Hastings-Sunrise

March 27 2023 –

Starting tomorrow, the City will be launching phase 2 of a major green rainwater infrastructure and sewer renewal project in Hastings-Sunrise. The project is part of the City’s current Capital Plan which maps out significant investments in Vancouver’s infrastructure and amenities. 

Traffic on East 1st Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction from Windermere Street to Lillooet Street until July 2023 to ensure this work can be completed safely and efficiently.

“Upgrading our sewer system is essential work that protects public health and allows our city to grow and adapt,” says Mayor Ken Sim, “This project directly addresses Vancouver’s infrastructure deficit; allowing for more housing to be built while making our sewers more resilient in the face of climate change and extreme weather events.” 

The project advances the provincial regulatory requirement for the City to eliminate combined sewer overflows (CSOs) by 2050. Separating combined pipes in the Hastings-Sunrise area will help reduce contributions to Vancouver’s second-highest CSO location, the Cassiar outfall at New Brighton Park. Other phases of the project will also incorporate green rainwater infrastructure (GRI). GRI uses engineered soil and plants that work with the built environment to naturally capture and clean rainwater, helping to prevent pollutants carried by rainwater from entering waterways and reducing the volume of rainwater entering our pipe system. 

Vancouver has legacy combined sewers that were designed for a different climate. Combined sewers carry both sewage and rainwater in the same pipe. When they are over-capacity during heavy rains, a mixture of rainwater and sewage, called CSOs, is released into receiving waterbodies like the Burrard Inlet. CSOs can harm aquatic species and contribute to swim advisories on beaches. 

Plan ahead and expect delays

  • Primary traffic impacts will be on East 1st Avenue between Rupert Street and Renfrew Street. Crews will work to re-open travel lanes whenever possible to mitigate impacts; watch for signage changes as work progresses.
  • Sewer work on East 1st Avenue is expected to be completed by July 2023.
  • Partial lane closures will likely impact traffic flowing from the TransCanada off-ramp onto East 1st  Avenue. Find out about ongoing construction work using our road ahead map and plan an alternate route if possible. 
  • Construction will generally take place Monday to Friday, from 7am to 5pm and on weekends as needed.
  • Avoid short-cutting through surrounding neighbourhood streets as they are not designed for high volumes of traffic.
  • If you are driving, please keep an eye out for traffic control signage.
  • If you are walking or rolling, traffic control personnel will be on-site to manage traffic and assist pedestrians around the construction site. 

Learn more about the project online or by emailing hastings-sunrise-upgrades@vancouver.ca.