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  #1641  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2009, 9:14 PM
Mininari Mininari is offline
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Originally Posted by BCPhil View Post
AFB wouldn't be so bad if they got rid of the light at 72nd. It really slows down traffic onto the bridge in the morning, and in the evening the fast lane is usually stopped waiting for space in the left turn lanes. It causes chaos.

However, outside peak hours, the AFB is smooth sailing and is never a problem in the reverse direction.

As well, the AFB was built before the full impact of Expo was realized. Construction started in 1983, and when it opened it was the longest cable stayed bridge in the world, quite an engineering feat. No one in their right mind would have contemplated the growth we see South of the Fraser.

Fortunately, we now know the growth potential of the lower mainland, and can finally build infrastructure that can meet future needs.
72nd Ave and 91A *WAS* a priority in the Border Improvement Program, but Delta refused to accept a less-than-full-movements interchange.

What now?
     
     
  #1642  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2009, 9:35 PM
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... and will end in about 5 years when traffic builds and the bridge is once again congested. I remember when Alex Fraser Bridge opened, no lineups, diverted traffic from the tunnel. Now look at it.
Well lets think for a moment, when the AFB opened in 1986 metro-Vancouver's population was only 1,266,000, as of 2009 it is estimated at 2,300,000, an increase of over 1 million people. Maybe this near doubling of our metro population has something to do with congestion returning to the tunnels and now the AFB.

Also, the old Pitt River bridges were swing bridges, which would disrupt traffic for up to 30 minutes at a time (causing terrible delays) and this also causes trouble for marine traffic since they will not open the bridges during rush hours. So this project was much more than increasing lanes.
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  #1643  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 12:01 AM
Xerx Xerx is offline
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i didn't know the new Pitt river bridge could handle LRT or Skytrain
Quote:
New Pitt River Bridge can take SkyTrain or LRT – one direction at a time

Craig Hodge/Black Press

Text
By Phil Melnychuk - Maple Ridge News

Published: October 06, 2009 11:00 AM
Updated: October 06, 2009 11:14 AM

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With the Pitt River Bridge now open and the RapidBus lane on Lougheed Highway soon to be built, Maple Ridge should figure out how those projects will fit with its own transit plans.

Gateway Program boss Geoff Freer told council Monday the district should start talking about those projects and work out some of the details with TransLink and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Freer updated council on the bridge, which opened four of its seven lanes on Sunday, as well as the recently announced $16-million RapidBus lane.

That new lane on the north side of Lougheed Highway will run from Golden Ears Bridge to Harris Road, then connect with the third lane on Lougheed, farther west.

"This is all with the long-term view to RapidBus being all the way to Coquitlam to meet Evergreen [line]. That's kind of the long-term plan," Freer said.

The Evergreen Line is the long-awaited SkyTrain line that's still awaiting complete funding.

Once a RapidBus lane is built, buses would have priority signal access at Kennedy Road on to the Pitt River Bridge and later, if needed, could use an eighth lane on the bridge for a dedicated busway.

That lane would be created by converting the 3.5-metre-wide pedestrian/cycle path into the eighth lane and attaching the sidewalk, currently for cyclists and pedestrians, on to the north side of the bridge.

The eighth lane could also be used for light rail or SkyTrain.

Initially, that lane would serve trains running in both directions, with a switch controlling access at each end. But a light rail line in each direction is also possible, Freer said.

The bridge is structurally designed to handle trains, he said later.

That resulted from past Maple Ridge mayors lobbying for that capacity.

Actually, much of the work for the RapidBus lane was done two years ago. Gateway now just has to review and update those plans.

After Sunday's opening of the $198-million Pitt River Bridge, with two lanes running in each direction, the congestion and counterflow no longer plague motorists.

"Everybody seemed to be moving very smoothly this morning," Freer said. "We'll be more pleased when it fully opens in November."

That's expected earlier in November rather than later, depending on the weather, he added.

Maple Ridge residents have been waiting for the Pitt River Bridge almost as long as they've waited for the Golden Ears, which opened in June, said Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin.

He praised the contractor, Peter Kiewit Sons, for their work habits, noting that everything was neatly stored anytime he drove by.

"That's probably the cleanest construction site I have seen … very well done."

Coun. Judy Dueck added that traffic seemed to move smoothly any time she travelled across, despite the work underway.

Once the Pitt River Bridge construction is complete, the dismantling of the old swing bridge begins, with completion of that by next spring.

Coun. Al Hogarth wondered if parts of the old bridge could be used for bridges in Maple Ridge's trail system.

Pitt River Bridge project director Rob Ahola said there has been some interest in parts of the bridge being used as salvage, but the challenge is getting a big enough piece removed that would be useful elsewhere.

Lead paint on the metal must also be removed. Some of the concrete from the old towers will be recycled on site.

Hogarth also suggested that an overpass at Allen Way and Lougheed Highway, across the CP Rail container yards, could speed traffic towards the Golden Ears Bridge.

The Gateway Program is the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure's system of regional road projects, including the Pitt River Bridge, the Port Mann Bridge, Hwy. 1 widening, and South Fraser Perimeter Road.

The latter, which runs from Delta Port along the south shore of the Fraser River to Hwy. 1 and the Golden Ears Bridge, now has preloading on 18 of 35 kilometres.

Once open, "You will be able to drive from here to Tsawwassen in about 25 minutes," Freer said.
Source: Phil Melnychuk,http://www.bclocalnews.com/tri_city_.../63614162.html
     
     
  #1644  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 12:31 AM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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The Alex Fraser was called the bridge from nowhere to nowhere. It was politically hard enough to get it through in the first place. And let's face it, it's not THAT bad... most of the congestion results from the roads leading up to it.
     
     
  #1645  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 1:38 AM
DKaz DKaz is offline
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lol Lougheed EB on the bridge was backed up today.
     
     
  #1646  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 5:34 AM
Political_R Political_R is offline
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That's because Lougheed EB at the end of the bridge gets squeezed down to one lane and still has a light on it. Literally, it is counterflow all day for those using Lougheed EB.
     
     
  #1647  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 5:52 AM
Pennywise604 Pennywise604 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCPhil View Post
AFB wouldn't be so bad if they got rid of the light at 72nd. It really slows down traffic onto the bridge in the morning, and in the evening the fast lane is usually stopped waiting for space in the left turn lanes. It causes chaos.

However, outside peak hours, the AFB is smooth sailing and is never a problem in the reverse direction.

As well, the AFB was built before the full impact of Expo was realized. Construction started in 1983, and when it opened it was the longest cable stayed bridge in the world, quite an engineering feat. No one in their right mind would have contemplated the growth we see South of the Fraser.

Fortunately, we now know the growth potential of the lower mainland, and can finally build infrastructure that can meet future needs.

It's really too bad that Hwy 91 @ 72nd was designed with a light. The best solution would be to allow Northbound 91 traffic to be elevated over 72nd so it wouldn't be stopped. The light could still stay for cars turning from 91 onto 72nd and vice versa. It'd be almost impossible to construct without affecting the bog though. I hate living at 64th and hwy 91, and trying to get over the AFB anytime in the morning rush, but the afternoon rush is even worse. It barely moves since the light for NB 91 is timed to be alot shorter than in the morning rush. I agree though that outside of peak periods the light hardly ever affects traffic.
I love living right beside the bog, but I wouldn't care if we got rid of some of it, too improve that intersection.
     
     
  #1648  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 7:31 AM
cabotp cabotp is offline
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The problem with the AFB bridge from the beginning was all the stupid traffic lights that got built with it. Instead of spending the extra cash they tried to save a few $ and build traffic lights instead. After 22 years we finally got rid of the light at 91A and Howes street.

Only in metro vancouver would we build a freeway with a traffic light.

Which made me just think. Imagine what traffic would be like today if we still had the traffic lights on freeways.

ie -- The Left turn light at 91 and 91A. 91A and Howes Street. But how about the Hwy 1 and West View, Hwy 1 and Lonsdale lights. But the grand daddy of them all Cassiar and Hastings.
     
     
  #1649  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 7:59 AM
Pennywise604 Pennywise604 is offline
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Are you serious! I never heard of there being lights in any other place than along 91. I remember the one for the East-West Connector, that was horrific on it's own, I can't begin to imagine Cassiar@Hastings. The Connector light I remember as it would back up accross the bridge. The Howes one was bad too but it still jams up even after the interchange was built, but it moves about 5 times faster now. The others I'm too young to know about, but I find that funny. I couldn't imagine a light now for Westview@Upper Levels either. If it was still there today, in the afternoon rush it'd be jammed up all the way back to Abbotsford, on a good day...

I might as well contribute to this thread though since the SFPR does affect me. It'll be really nice once it's built to not have to sit in the mess on River Rd. Last Friday I watched traffic since I was going westbound backed up from River Rd@90th (Top of hill) all the way back past Nordel Way. I had to turn onto Nordel but it was backed up way past Nordel as well. (Had nothing to do with a train either) I've been on the other end of that before though, thats a solid 45 minutes of crawling along a 2 km stretch. This road will drastically speed things up, it can't be built soon enough
     
     
  #1650  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 8:11 AM
cabotp cabotp is offline
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Yup I am serious, about the Westview and lonsdale and Cassiar lights. The cassiar light was finally replaced with the current tunnel in 91. The other 2 lights I believe were removed around the mid 90's.

The cassiar light was the busiest intersection in all of Canada. It generally took an hour or more to get through that light during rush hour. What made it even worse is the fact that the PNE, Playland and Canucks and distant past Lions and Whitecaps all played near there. So not only was there all this traffic. There was all these people crossing at the intersection.
     
     
  #1651  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 2:25 PM
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Ahh the good old days. Yes the Cassiar/Hastings intersection was a gong show.

And yes, the AFB was a bridge to nowhere at the time because of the lack of a "total plan" like the Gateway project.

That being said, the 6 lane bridge should be plenty for the areas the AFB serves, it's all about planning the surrounding feeder routes.
     
     
  #1652  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 2:27 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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The should put a light leading up to the Port Mann. It wouldn't make much of a difference in traffic speed anyway.
     
     
  #1653  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 3:06 PM
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Maybe like a wait light at Peace Arch? Have people shut off their engines while waiting in queue to get onto the Port Mann Bridge.
     
     
  #1654  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 3:25 PM
clooless clooless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennywise604 View Post
It's really too bad that Hwy 91 @ 72nd was designed with a light. The best solution would be to allow Northbound 91 traffic to be elevated over 72nd so it wouldn't be stopped. The light could still stay for cars turning from 91 onto 72nd and vice versa.
That is pretty much what the province proposed to do about six years ago, sans traffic light, with funding from the federal Border Infrastructure Program, but the project fell through when the City of Delta objected to the interchange design as westbound traffic on 72nd would no longer have access to southbound 91.

Quote:
It'd be almost impossible to construct without affecting the bog though. I hate living at 64th and hwy 91, and trying to get over the AFB anytime in the morning rush, but the afternoon rush is even worse. It barely moves since the light for NB 91 is timed to be alot shorter than in the morning rush. I agree though that outside of peak periods the light hardly ever affects traffic.
I love living right beside the bog, but I wouldn't care if we got rid of some of it, too improve that intersection.
I don't see why the bog would have to effected at all. A flyover from either westbound 72nd to southbound 91 or from southbound 91 to eastbound 72nd would all that would needed, in addition to elevating northbound 91, and it could be accommodated within the existing intersection footprint.
     
     
  #1655  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 3:41 PM
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They've started laying foam blocks to complete the approach to the new Lougheed to MHB flyover. No other further work yet on the east and west approaches to the new Pitt River Bridge.
     
     
  #1656  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 7:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cabotp View Post
Only in metro vancouver would we build a freeway with a traffic light.
I don't have any inside information, but it seems pretty obvious to me that 91/91A was rushed for Expo 86. When they ran out of time to finish overpasses, they planted traffic lights instead. Many sections of the freeway had little or no preloading, therefore it sunk unevenly into the bog and has been that way since the year it opened. The east-west section of 91 wasn't even finished until about 2 years later.

I still see Vanderzalm's face in my mind whenever I drive the Delta part of 91.
     
     
  #1657  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 7:47 PM
cabotp cabotp is offline
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What ever the reason. Because of bad foresight it became a problem from day 1.
     
     
  #1658  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 7:51 PM
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Originally Posted by clooless View Post
That is pretty much what the province proposed to do about six years ago, sans traffic light, with funding from the federal Border Infrastructure Program, but the project fell through when the City of Delta objected to the interchange design as westbound traffic on 72nd would no longer have access to southbound 91.



I don't see why the bog would have to effected at all. A flyover from either westbound 72nd to southbound 91 or from southbound 91 to eastbound 72nd would all that would needed, in addition to elevating northbound 91, and it could be accommodated within the existing intersection footprint.
It could be simpler than that. Just have 2 single lane flyovers from 72nd. On the outside of 91 SB you have a long (really long) exit lane that raises up and over 91 then down onto 72nd EB. It only needs to be single lane because 72nd is single lane and keeping it all single lane will improve flow because people in Surrey don't know how to merge.

Then from 72nd to SB 91 have another flyover over the other one and down onto 91 SB. Single lanes wouldn't expand beyond the current ROW, and using some kind of steel structure would probably be cheaper than raising the 91 NB over a left exit (which are always horrible IMO) and rerouting NB 91 during construction would probably cut into the green space on the east side of the ROW.
     
     
  #1659  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 8:38 PM
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the 91 does have some quirks

- the curves at the north end of the Alex fraser can get really tight. if it is dark and snowing it is downright treacherous. Every few weeks you see a concrete divider pushed out of place with paint marks on it...
-agree about the preloading - it's really bad on the richmond/lulu island side.
-the shoulders seem very narrow - a nice safety margin to have. compare it to the westview/tunnel areas of Hwy 1 - wide shoulders.
     
     
  #1660  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 8:56 PM
Zassk Zassk is offline
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^ I think the Westview and tunnel areas of Hwy 1 have such wide shoulders simply because both stretches were built for an additional lane, which has not been painted onto the surface yet. Those are not normal highway shoulders.
     
     
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