'Gentle' speed bump returning to Lions Gate Bridge this weekend

Dec 19 2017, 9:00 pm

Do you remember the notorious traffic-stopping ‘speed bump’ on the Lions Gate Bridge last summer? It’s making a comeback beginning this weekend, although engineers with the B.C. government say this new design will provide motorists with a much smoother crossing.

In order to proceed with the second phase of bridge expansion joint replacements, a ‘temporary bridge cover’ 50-mm-thick will be installed under the south tower of the structure. But unlike August 2015’s speed bump, there will be two 13-metre-long approach ramps on either side of the bump to provide a gentle transition.

Image: Government of B.C.

Image: Government of B.C.

Ministry officials believe there will be no “bump” with the new design, which will reduce the impact on efficiency and the delays experienced.

Last summer, vehicles crossing the bridge slowed down before driving over the 44.5-mm-thick metal speed bump at crawling speeds. With the first speed bump, the transition approach was only about one metre long on either side of the bump. It caused traffic backups several kilometres long on both ends of the bridge, and bus routes crossing the bridge were rerouted to SeaBus due to the traffic delays.

Anyone who needs to use the Lions Gate Bridge this weekend should expect delays and consider an alternate route. The temporary bridge recover will be installed on the bridge deck from Saturday, April 2 to Sunday, April 3, with single-lane closures from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday and single-lane alternating traffic from 10:30 p.m. on Saturday to 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Further off-peak delays can be expected over the coming months; the bridge expansion joint project is expected to take eight months to complete.

The $1.1-million south tower joint repair project is the latest improvement project along the Lions Gate Bridge route. Earlier this year, the provincial government completed a $7-million project that built bike lanes and new pedestrian pathways along the edge of the Stanley Park Causeway.