Traffic figures on the new 10-lane Port Mann Bridge have experienced consecutive monthly increases, according to new data provided by the Transportation Investment Corporation.
During the first seven months of 2015, the tolled crossing recorded 20.73 million trips, an uptick of five per cent over the same period experienced last year.
The weekday average in July 2015 was 3.24 million, which is 60,000 more vehicles than what was recorded in July 2014. On a daily average basis, 111,800 vehicles were recorded on each weekday in July compared to 107,700 vehicles during the same month in 2014.
Transportation Investment Corporation spokesperson Greg Johnson told Vancity Buzz drivers are starting to return to the bridge to take advantage of the time savings.
“Drivers have tried the alternate routes, and some are saving up to 40 minutes a day, or more than three hours a week using the Port Mann compared to the Pattullo Bridge,” he said.
“We’ve seen seven or eight consecutive months of year-over-year growth. On average, traffic volumes have been six per cent higher every month this year than the year before.”
This follows last year’s slump in numbers, right after the scheduled increase in toll rates in December 2013. On August 15, tolls on the bridge saw an increase, with a small car now paying 15 cents more per single trip.
The crown corporation maintains that tolls are used to pay for the cost of building the bridge and maintaining the structure. It is anticipated that tolls will pay off the Port Mann-Highway 1 Improvement Project’s $3.6 billion debt by 2050.