Much-needed maintenance work will take place on the four-lane Pattullo Bridge on the third weekend of October, and this will require a complete bridge closure to all vehicle traffic during most weekend hours.
According to TransLink, the aging bridge between New Westminster and Surrey will be shutdown from 9 p.m. on Friday, October 16 to noon on Sunday, October 18. Throughout this period, crews will be repairing potholes on the bridge deck.
“The Pattullo Bridge is being regularly inspected to monitor the condition of the aging deck,” reads a statement by the transportation authority. “Several potholes have been patched already with no impact to traffic, but additional repairs are needed to keep the bridge safe for drivers.”
Signs will be in place to redirect drivers to other crossings, including the Queensborough and Alex Fraser bridges to the west and the Port Mann Bridge to the east. Commuters and transit users should allow for longer travel times.
The Pattullo Bridge’s sidewalk will remain open for both cyclists and pedestrians.
Other extensive bridge deck repairs are planned for 2016 as part of TransLink’s plan to ensure the bridge meets bare minimum short-term structural integrity requirements – until a new crossing is built to replace it.
Late last month, TransLink announced it had abandoned a $100-million bridge rehabilitation project, which would have included seismic upgrades for the structure. The project has become cost prohibitive given the bridge’s extremely short remaining lifespan, and it could be subject to further cost overruns.
Instead, about $25 million of the allocated budget will be spent on maintaining the bridge, with the remaining funds going towards the $1 billion cost of constructing a new crossing.
However, there is no timeline for when a new crossing could be a built due to the ‘No’ result in the recent transit plebiscite. A 0.5 per cent increase in the region’s sales tax would have helped fund the construction and operations of the new tolled crossing. The original timeline was for a 2020 opening.