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VANCOUVER — Councillors in Vancouver have narrowly approved removal of two elevated roadways moving traffic in and out of the city's downtown core. In a 5-4 vote, councillors approved plans to demolish the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, replacing them with a ramp to Georgia Street and a two-way, six lane Pacific Boulevard. A release from council estimates construction could start in late 2017, and be complete by 2020, but also notes detailed planning is still needed. Mayor Gregor Robertson says demolishing the viaducts will sidestep $65 million in seismic upgrades, reconnect several downtown and east side neighbourhoods, create new affordable housing opportunities and clear space for a five hectare park. He calls the removal a "once-in-a-generation building opportunity." City staff have 18 months or less to update council on any progress.
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