TransLink announced on Thursday that repairs for the Patullo Bridge will be conducted starting April 2016.
The bridge, which directly connects Surrey with New Westminster, will undergo a rehabilitation plan that will leave one lane open in each direction, but will close down entirely at night and on weekends. The sidewalk will also be closed during the time period of the repairs. The cost of the repair needed is estimated at $100-million.
Closures and repairs will take about 18 months, and it is expected to cause congestion given the high traffic it receives on a daily basis.
As one of the oldest bridges on the Lower Mainland, the Pattullo Bridge is known to have structural concerns and be vulnerable to dangers in the case of even a moderate earthquake event.
The Pattullo Bridge has become an alternative to the tolled Port Mann Bridge, but TransLink is urging drivers to plan other travel routes once repairs begin.
“We will work with our stakeholders and the public to develop an effective traffic management plan while we complete this necessary work,” said Fred Cummings, VP infastructure and engineering for TransLink, in a press release.
The region’s transportation authority is proceeding with the costly refit even though a $1-billion replacement bridge is slated to be built by the end of the decade.
The announcement comes one day before the Metro Vancouver’s Transit and Transportation plebiscite comes to an end.