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  #1  
Old Posted May 29, 2015, 5:57 AM
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Pattullo Bridge Rehabilitation Project

Think this deserves its own thread:
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METRO VANCOUVER -- Motorists travelling between Surrey and New Westminster will be forced to take the tolled Port Mann Bridge or other crossings such as the Alex Fraser during closures of the Pattullo Bridge next year for major rehabilitation work.

TransLink is also hoping that more people will opt to carpool, take SkyTrain or reduce their trips between Surrey and New Westminster during the $100-million rehabilitation project, which is slated to continue for 18 months.

A two-week closure of the bridge due to a fire in January 2009 caused traffic chaos, clogging the old untolled Port Mann and Alex Fraser bridges, as well as the George Massey Tunnel.

About 75,000 motorists use the Pattullo Bridge daily, partly because many drivers do not want to pay the $3 toll each way to cross the Port Mann Bridge.

“The Pattullo Bridge is not going to be able to handle the traffic pattern it does today,” said New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote. “Both the Alex Fraser and the Port Mann are going to see increases in traffic. The Port Mann will be able to handle that excess but the Alex Fraser will face a few more challenges in terms of congestion.

“I’m hoping people will start to realize the Port Mann Bridge, even with a toll, is a better alternative for some of these trips.”

TransLink announced Thursday that, starting in mid-2016, only two lanes — one in each direction — will be open on the Pattullo during weekdays, while the bridge will be closed to all traffic during nights and weekends as it works to rehabilitate and repair the aged bridge deck. The sidewalk will also be closed to pedestrians and cyclists at all times while the work is ongoing, while heavy trucks with more than three axles will be banned from using the bridge.

But even if there were funding available to build a new bridge, said Cote, this major rehabilitation work would still be needed because it would take up to eight years to design and build a new crossing. There will also likely need to be more seismic upgrading done before then.

“Really the only other alternative is to go without a bridge,” he said.

Fred Cummings, TransLink’s vice-president of engineering and infrastructure management, said the transportation authority wants to give the public time to come up with new travel arrangements. TransLink is working with the trucking association, the B.C. government, Port Metro Vancouver and city officials in New Westminster and Surrey on a traffic management plan to help motorists, pedestrians and cyclists find alternative ways to get across the river.

The lane-closure proposal, he said, is the “best balance” to the needs of safety, business impacts and the needs of emergency responders.

“It’s driver safety as well as worker safety,” Cummings said. “We know this is going to be a significant impact to people who use this bridge so we want them to plan ahead for alternative routes. There are concerns, obviously, because this is going to lead to congestion and delays. But there’s an understanding this work has to be done.”

Greg Johnson, spokesman for TI Corp., which oversees the operations and maintenance of the Port Mann Bridge, said there is enough capacity on that crossing to accept the traffic from the Pattullo Bridge.

Traffic on the Port Mann Bridge is up more than five per cent compared with the same month last year, he said, while overall traffic for 2015 has risen an average of six per cent compared with the same period a year earlier — with traffic volumes between 95,000 and 110,000 crossings per day. But while there is room to take more vehicles on the Port Mann, neither Johnson nor Cummings would say if tolls would be relaxed on that bridge during the Pattullo closure.

The B.C. government, which is responsible for the Port Mann and Alex Fraser bridges, has said there must be a toll-free alternative for people who do not want to pay to cross the Port Mann.

However, the Ministry of Transportation said in a statement to The Sun Thursday that there are no plans at this time to reduce tolls on the Port Mann.

Cote said reducing the tolls on the Port Mann Bridge would help lure motorists to that bridge, noting he’s worried that even with less traffic using the Pattullo, there will be bottlenecks on the access points, especially in his city. About 30 per cent of traffic on the Pattullo, he added, serves the local population in New Westminster and Surrey.

“Ideally that would be the traffic that remains,” he said, adding there needs to be widespread communication about the plan. “This rehabilitation project is going to have a significant impact on transportation not only in New Westminster but in Metro Vancouver.”

TransLink does not have figures for pedestrians and cyclists who regularly use the sidewalk on the aged bridge to cross the river. TransLink will urge pedestrians and cyclists to use transit during the closure, Cummings said, but will also look at offering shuttle buses for cyclists because of the bike restrictions during peak hours on SkyTrain.

The latest rehabilitation on the Pattullo Bridge will focus on seismically upgrading and repairing the bridge deck, whether by milling and replacing the concrete on some sections of the bridge or bringing in pre-cast sections. The work follows a succession of summer closures during the past decade that has seen repeated patch jobs on the deck to keep it safely maintained until a new bridge is built.

“We can’t do that anymore,” Cummings said. “The bridge needs to be rehabilitated and have repairs until a new one is built. We need to keep the bridge safe until then.”

A new four-lane crossing, with the potential to expand to six lanes, is a priority in TransLink’s transportation plan and one of the top projects listed in a batch of projects that will go ahead if the public agrees to a 0.5-per-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation across Metro Vancouver. Metro voters have until 8 p.m. Friday to vote the proposal.

TransLink and the regional mayors insist they need the sales tax increase, which would generate $250 million annually and help fund projects such as more buses, the Pattullo Bridge, better road maintenance, a new subway for Vancouver and light rail for Surrey. The results of the plebiscite are expected to be released in late June.
Source: Vancouver Sun
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  #2  
Old Posted May 29, 2015, 6:02 AM
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This IMOH is completely the fault of the Provincial and New Westminster governments. This bridge should have been made a priority for replacement prior to needing a band-aid repair of $100 Million. What is that... about 10% of the cost of a new bridge. A new bridge we will likely see within the decade (fingers crossed).
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  #3  
Old Posted May 29, 2015, 6:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SOSS View Post
A new bridge we will likely see within the decade (fingers crossed).
I hope so, but have my doubts. How long have they been stretching it out now? The rehabilitation won't start for almost a year, and it won't finish for 2 1/2 years. I am sure they wouldn't spend $100M if a new bridge was coming sooner rather than later.
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  #4  
Old Posted May 29, 2015, 8:45 AM
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I am sure they wouldn't spend $100M if a new bridge was coming sooner rather than later.
i think this is one of those, they have to do it or close it down for the safety of the public. that bridge has been neglected and chunks of concrete fall off the damn thing.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 29, 2015, 9:37 AM
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What an amazing waste of money, seriously.

While The province, New West, and Translink all share some of the blame here, the vast Lion's share belongs to New West.

There was a plan going forward about 5 years ago, it had all the conceptual alignments done, and it was planned to be open only two years from now. Surrey was happy, it was only New West who at the last minute pulled the plug.
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  #6  
Old Posted May 29, 2015, 2:25 PM
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Well this will help the PMB lose less money...
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  #7  
Old Posted May 29, 2015, 4:48 PM
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Well this will help the PMB lose less money...
Except the mayor of New West is calling for lower tolls on the PMB while this rehabilitation is happening, so it might end up being a wash.
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Old Posted May 29, 2015, 5:39 PM
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As if the BC Government would reduce tolls on the Port Mann due to Translink work.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 29, 2015, 6:11 PM
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Except the mayor of New West is calling for lower tolls on the PMB while this rehabilitation is happening, so it might end up being a wash.
I can hear the laughing all the way from Victoria.

The MOT is probably loving this. They are taking a PR beating over the money losing bridge not anywhere near their predictions.
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  #10  
Old Posted May 29, 2015, 6:28 PM
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Originally Posted by WarrenC12 View Post
Well this will help the PMB lose less money...
I'll just bypass to the Alex Fraser, personally and the SFPR makes that way easier than it used to be. As an out-of-region driver I'm not paying to cross some cruddy bridge that is a major link in the Trans Canada of all highways.
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  #11  
Old Posted May 29, 2015, 7:08 PM
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Originally Posted by MIPS View Post
I'll just bypass to the Alex Fraser, personally and the SFPR makes that way easier than it used to be. As an out-of-region driver I'm not paying to cross some cruddy bridge that is a major link in the Trans Canada of all highways.
I bed $100 that instead of even driving you'd be sitting in the front seat of the Mk I with your face against the glass looking out for the new sections of power rail instead.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 29, 2015, 7:28 PM
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I'll just bypass to the Alex Fraser, personally and the SFPR makes that way easier than it used to be. As an out-of-region driver I'm not paying to cross some cruddy bridge that is a major link in the Trans Canada of all highways.
1. The new PMB is cruddy?

2. The AFB will be uber-jammed.
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Old Posted May 29, 2015, 8:36 PM
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Originally Posted by dharper View Post
I hope so, but have my doubts. How long have they been stretching it out now? The rehabilitation won't start for almost a year, and it won't finish for 2 1/2 years. I am sure they wouldn't spend $100M if a new bridge was coming sooner rather than later.
Well, the other option is literately shut it down, throw concrete barricades on both ends and go "Sorry, it's too unsafe, and to save 100 million we're going to make everyone on both sides of the bridge lose far more than 100 million per year until the new bridge is built."

Or the other option...

Forgo maintenance and just let it fall into the river, and pay out the lawsuits.
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Old Posted May 29, 2015, 8:49 PM
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2. The AFB will be uber-jammed.
That and the Queensborough Bridge are going to be absolute nightmares.
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Old Posted May 29, 2015, 9:34 PM
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At this point the money would be better spent tearing down the bridge.

Or gift the bridge to New West and let them do what they want with it.

New West doesn't want the traffic. The region needs to start looking hard at alternate solutions.

Burnaby might not be ecstatic about the idea of another bridge, but at minimum they are open to discussion.
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Old Posted May 29, 2015, 10:45 PM
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New West doesn't want the traffic. The region needs to start looking hard at alternate solutions.

Burnaby might not be ecstatic about the idea of another bridge, but at minimum they are open to discussion.
What alternate solutions are there? Pushing the bridge too far in either direction means it'll end up twinning either the Alex Fraser or Port Mann bridges. To keep regularly spaced crossing, it has to stay somewhere near where it is now - which means connecting to New West.

I know a Sapperton crossing was considered, but the longer bridge length combined with the sandbar made that a no go. The only other option I see is shifting it over to 6th St - the bridge would be a similar length but it would only end up moving the traffic over, so there's no way New West will go for that.

I wouldn't mind seeing a Richmond to Burnaby (around Boundary) and / or a second Richmond to Delta (around Tilbury) crossing but of course that doesn't get the attention that the Pattullo does.
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Old Posted May 29, 2015, 11:15 PM
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I know a Sapperton crossing was considered, but the longer bridge length combined with the sandbar made that a no go. The only other option I see is shifting it over to 6th St - the bridge would be a similar length but it would only end up moving the traffic over, so there's no way New West will go for that.
Not only that, 6th Street is a two-lane street. The bridge would go right over Westminster Pier Park, and you'd have to demolish a good number of buildings to connect to any streets in the area. There is absolutely no way that any sort of major traffic would be allowed to dump into downtown New Westminster.

One of the other options was a crossing at Tree Island, but I have no idea where that is (downstream of the Queensborough, maybe?).

The Pattullo is going to be replaced where it is, plus or minus a hundred meters.
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Old Posted May 30, 2015, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by makr3trkr View Post
Burnaby might not be ecstatic about the idea of another bridge, but at minimum they are open to discussion.
Burnaby doesn't have a single bridge touching their territory and I'm sure they want to keep it that way. It's amazing how everything is right outside their borders actually.

I still think somewhere north/south around Sapperton is the best choice. That shoreline is never gonna be nice with the highway/rails right there.
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Old Posted May 30, 2015, 1:34 AM
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This rehab was approved ages ago - I don't see why people are suddenly surprised when they start going about implementing it.

Article from September 2014 about the rehabilitation:

http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2014/09/21...-save-pattullo
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  #20  
Old Posted May 30, 2015, 6:35 AM
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Not only that, 6th Street is a two-lane street. The bridge would go right over Westminster Pier Park, and you'd have to demolish a good number of buildings to connect to any streets in the area. There is absolutely no way that any sort of major traffic would be allowed to dump into downtown New Westminster.

One of the other options was a crossing at Tree Island, but I have no idea where that is (downstream of the Queensborough, maybe?).

The Pattullo is going to be replaced where it is, plus or minus a hundred meters.
Not much of any traffic can dump into New Westminster - pretty much all of their roads are two lanes (when they're not one lane and not a one way street... ). Yeah I know it'll end up practically in the same spot. According to google maps Tree Island is slightly east of the Port Mann.


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Burnaby doesn't have a single bridge touching their territory and I'm sure they want to keep it that way. It's amazing how everything is right outside their borders actually.

I still think somewhere north/south around Sapperton is the best choice. That shoreline is never gonna be nice with the highway/rails right there.
I wouldn't mind a bridge in Burnaby (and I live there) but where would it go and what would it connect to? The Trans Canada Hwy cuts across the middle of Burnaby and then for the last bit it travels into Vancouver and across the Second Narrows, which is all of a block or two into Van and also the narrowest area for a crossing. The next narrow section is north of Burnaby Mountain and would connect with Belcarra Regional Park. Even to the south, the connecting area in Richmond is all open fields. Even Boundary would be smack in the middle of fields in Richmond.
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