The new 10-lane Port Mann Bridge is now more than 50 per cent finished. It will be tolled electronically

Port Mann Bridge passes half-way mark

Milestone for what will be B.C.'s biggest bridge, tolls now less than 18 months away.

The new electronically tolled Port Mann Bridge is now half built.

Politicians and construction crews gathered at the new span Saturday to mark the 50-per-cent completion milestone.

The new 10-lane bridge across the Fraser River is the centrepiece of the $3.3-billion Port Mann/Highway 1 expansion project.

The bridge will reduce congestion, cut commute times and ease goods movement, according to Premier Christy Clark.

“Once complete, commuters will save an hour a day in travel time,” she said.

Eight of the lanes of the bridge are to open by late 2012 and tolls will go into effect at the same time. The other two lanes open in 2013.

Bridge users will pay a minimum $3 to cross one-way, provided they use a transponder or pay within two days – otherwise the cost will be $5.30. The base toll rises 2.5 per cent a year.

The bridge is projected to initially raise at least $175 million a year in tolls, a figure which assumes it carries 20 per cent more paying vehicles than crossed for free in 2007.

Even so, it will take several more years of traffic growth and at least a further 15 per cent boost in revenue before it reaches the break-even point where tolls match the outgoing payments to the private partner that builds and maintains the project.

It will be the biggest bridge in B.C., with an 850-metre-long main bridge deck and an overall length including approaches of just over two kilometres.

A total of 288 cables will hold up the bridge, anchored to 160-metre high towers.

The lanes will include an HOV/bus lane in each direction, as well as a five-metre wide path for bikes and pedestrians.

There will also be a local traffic lane in each direction separated from other highway traffic that will be dedicated to users going directly between Surrey and Port Coquitlam.

The project is also supposed to bring a new Highway 1 RapidBus service running from a new park-and-ride in Langley via north Surrey to Lougheed SkyTrain station in Burnaby in less than 25 minutes.

But TransLink says it doesn’t yet have the money to operate the Highway 1 bus service, which is one of a number of proposed expansion projects that depend on increased funding.

Once the new bridge is complete, the old Port Mann Bridge will be demolished.

Transportation minister Blair Lekstrom thanked the project’s 1,500 workers and appealed to bridge users and project neighbours for continued patience and safe driving during in construction zones.

 

BY THE NUMBERS:

157,000 cubic metres of concrete25,000 tonnes of asphalt for new bridge deck28,000 tonnes of rebar and 13,000 tonnes of structural steel1,158 pre-cast segments in the approach spans116 steel composite segments in the cable-stay span16 kilometres of pile and five kilometres of drilled shafts to support the structure45 kilometres of cable

Just Posted

Chilliwack RCMP find chemicals and cannabis extract in illicit lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Chilliwack RCMP seek suspects in rash of poppy donation box thefts

Incidents at four different locations in Sardis in the days leading up to Remembrance Day

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Train ride at Minter store not part of this year’s festive fun

Tough decision made to stop seasonal train in its tracks after injury suffered by Brian Minter

Players Guild challenges Chilliwack residents to solve classic Agatha Christie whodunit mystery

The Chilliwack Players Guild is performing Murder on the Nile from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

New chair of Metro Vancouver board is Burnaby councillor

The 40-person board is made up of elected officials from 21 cities and one First Nation

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Most Read