Contractors for the new replacement Pattullo Bridge are scheduled to begin in-river work on the bridge tower foundation over the latter half of February.
According to a bulletin from the provincial government’s project office last week, crews will place rock for bridge foundation protection and install the first piles that will form the foundation for the tower.
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However, this work is intended to be a test, which will provide additional information on in-river geotechnical conditions, underwater monitoring data, and construction methodologies.
The schedule for in-river construction is regulated by the federal government’s Fisheries and Oceans Canada department to minimize the impact to fish and fish habitat.
Major construction in the Fraser River is scheduled to begin over the coming months. The new bridge will be constructed roughly 100 metres east of the existing 1937-built, four-lane bridge.
In January 2020, the provincial government selected Fraser Crossing Partners — a joint partnership between Acciona Infrastructure Canada and Aecon Group Inc. — to design, build, and provide partial construction financing for the new $1.377-billion, four-lane crossing.
To date, ever since the contract was awarded, only geotechnical investigation work and a house demolition has occurred.
The new bridge is expected to open in Fall 2023, at which point the contractor will begin work on demolishing the existing seismically vulnerable structure.
For the region’s other major transportation infrastructure project, site preparation through the demolition of existing structures has begun on the Broadway Extension of SkyTrain Millennium Line, but major construction activities for this subway project are not expected to begin until spring. The extended Millennium Line to Arbutus Street will open in 2025.