Image: Vancouver Sun
Yesterday Translink announced that it is looking at 3 options to deal with the aging Pattullo bridge. If you use that bridge daily you know that it is long overdue for upgrades or replacement. One of those options presented (and preferred by Tranlink) is a brand new 6 lane bridge. It is the most expensive option (pegged at $800 million) and of course it will have be tolled. So once again people in the suburbs are paying a price for their big back yards. Tolls are the new reality, so get used it I suppose.
As for the bridge design making the changes to connections on the Surrey side will be quite easy as it’s pretty much vacant or lightly used industrial land at the time. The real challenge will be on the New Westminster side as Translink want to have access from Front Street and no longer Royal Avenue.
The preferred option is also100m away from the current bridge. Further, Translink officials are saying it could open as early as 2015. I find that to be very ambitious, especially since the Evergreen lines funding always seems to disappear and Vancouver wants SkyTrain to UBC by 2020. Where is Translink going to get the funds? No doubt this will be a P3 type venture.
At the end of the day this will leave the bridge and tunnelers with one free bridge option and one tunnel option. Although the tunnel option may also one day be tolled I hear.
In reality the people north of the Fraser want to keep the south of Fraser inhabitants away from urban landscape, I kid, I kid. Seriously though, ditch the Affliction and Ed Hardy though, please.