Preliminary in-river work recently began on the new toll-free Pattullo Bridge replacement. This staged work marks the beginning of the project to build a new, modern bridge to connect New Westminster and Surrey in British Columbia.
Once completed, the new, four-lane bridge will improve safety and reliability for drivers, cyclists and walkers, as well as the movement of goods. It will provide modern, wider lanes and improved and more direct connections to regional road networks. Active-transportation commuters will benefit from new high-quality walking and cycling paths connecting to the bridge, and wide multi-use paths in both directions on the bridge, separated from traffic by barriers.
In February, work in the Fraser River included installing the first piles that will form the foundation for the bridge tower. The in-river work is temporarily paused to protect fish and fish habitat in accordance with Fisheries and Oceans Canada regulations. The project team will continue to monitor the site to evaluate optimal conditions for resuming in-river work when the fish window opens again in summer 2021.
Key priorities for the Pattullo Bridge replacement project include safety, environmental protection, and minimizing impacts to this historically and culturally significant site. On-site investigative work and permitting processes have taken longer than anticipated due to the complexities of the project and challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the construction timeline for the project has been adjusted, moving the bridge opening date from late 2023 into 2024. The project team is reviewing options to mitigate the delay and have the bridge open as early as possible.
Work continues on land with COVID-19 safety protocols being followed for all project activities. Project activities to date include geotechnical investigations, finalizing project designs, and consultation to secure permits and authorizations. Site preparations are underway, and crews are bringing supplies and equipment to the site on the Surrey side of the Fraser River.
Upcoming construction activities, including installation of the on-land bridge foundations in New Westminster and Surrey, will commence this spring as major construction begins.
The existing bridge will be removed after the new bridge is completed and open to traffic. The $1.377 billion project remains on budget.
It is estimated the Pattullo Bridge replacement project will create more than 7,000 direct and indirect jobs, supporting economic development within the region and beyond.
The Pattullo Bridge replacement project is being delivered under the province’s Community Benefits Agreement (CBA). The CBA prioritizes hiring local workers, including Indigenous peoples, women, people with disabilities and other under-represented groups who are qualified to do the work, in a safe, welcoming work environment.
The project will be funded and owned by the Government of British Columbia. It is being delivered on behalf of the Province by the Transportation Investment Corporation.
For further information on this project, click here.
Featured image from the Government of B.C.