07/17/2015 10:41 EDT | Updated 07/17/2016 05:59 EDT

Burrard Bridge upgrade: final plans revealed

The City of Vancouver says it has finalized its plans for the Burrard Street Bridge based on more than 18,000 comments on preliminary plans it released six weeks ago.

In June the city unveiled the preliminary plans for a $35 million upgrade of the 83-year-old structure, including several proposals to smooth out how traffic — on foot, bike or in vehicles — gets across it.

A final report is now set to go to city council. 

Based on feedback, additional changes now include:

- Enhanced cycling safety measures eastbound through Burrard Street and Pacific Avenue.

- A re-evaluation of the lane closure between Howe and Hornby streets.

- Improved accessibility on the north bridge approach.

Big changes included in the initial plan remain, such as:

- Restoring pedestrian access to the east side of the bridge.  

- Turning one of the northbound vehicles lanes into a bike lane.

- Widening 100 metres of the 859-metre structure along the northern bridge approach. 

Another change was one suggested by Vancouver Coastal Health: fencing and crisis phones to prevent people from attempting suicide off the bridge.

Staff will present the changes to council next Wednesday. If approved, construction could begin in early 2016 and would take 14 to 18 months to be completed.