It cost $18 million, but has looked mostly empty since officially opening last summer.
The new truck staging area for Deltaport is located on provincially-owned land at the junction of Highway 17, Highway 17A and Deltaport Way, a facility used by trucks destined for the container terminal at Roberts Bank.
First announced six years earlier, and taking several years longer than anticipated to complete due to the approvals required, the staging facility is being leased to the port.
It can accommodate up to 140 trucks on the east side of Highway 17A and to the west there’s a parking area for early arrival trucks, a restroom and an inspection area for B.C. Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement.
The new facility is to address long-standing road safety concerns by alleviating congestion along the Roberts Bank causeway, which can occur when trucks arrive early for their reservations or when there is a closure at the container terminal.
During a presentation at Delta council last week on the proposed Terminal 2 expansion at Roberts Bank, representatives from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority were asked why the new parking lot facility has looked little used most of the time.
Tom Corsie, vice-president of real estate, said it’s actually what the port wants to see, as it means the port is operating properly and not having to keep trucks out because there’s a problem.
“Rather than trucks backing up on Deltaport Way in a somewhat precarious situation, like we used to, we can now actually stage trucks in the truck staging area. It’s only happened a few times when there’s been a very significant use of the facility but, quite frankly when things are going well, it means trucks won’t be in there and that’s a good situation,” he explained.
The facility is only open to vehicles with a port pass that can access the terminals, Corsie added.
The initial design of the facility did not include washrooms due to a lack of sewer service but during COVID-19, as the movie industry slowed down, the port was able access and rent “first class” bathroom facilities, Corsie added.