SkyTrain's SkyBridge to undergo maintenance work, requiring single tracking

Jul 23 2021, 11:52 am

Maintenance work on SkyTrain’s SkyBridge, the Expo Line’s crossing over the Fraser River between New Westminster and Surrey, will necessitate single-tracking operations for several weeks starting at the end of this month.

TransLink says construction will centre on replacing aging expansion joints along the rail tracks of the bridge, as they have not been replaced since the construction of the bridge and have now reached the end of their lifespan. This work will help ensure the future reliability of SkyTrain.

Between Saturday, July 31 and Saturday, August 7, the Expo Line will operate with single-track service between Scott Road Station and Columbia Station.

Single-track operations will again return between Saturday, August 14 and Saturday, August 21, from Scott Road Station to New Westminster Station.

Trains will cross two at a time in each direction, providing 15-minute frequencies during peak periods. At all other times, one train will cross in each direction, providing 12-minute frequencies.

TransLink will have additional SkyTrain staff on-site to assist passengers at the stations. Passengers crossing the Fraser River on SkyTrain should allow for extra travel time during this period.

skytrain expo line skybridge

Skybridge across the Fraser River on the SkyTrain Expo Line between New Westminster and Surrey. (Shutterstock)

SkyBridge was completed after Expo ’86, as the second phase of the original SkyTrain line. When SkyTrain first opened in 1985, its easternmost terminus was initially New Westminster Station. Construction on the segment between New Westminster Station and Scott Road Station, including SkyBridge, began in 1987 and reached completion in 1990.

The final segment reaching King George Station was built as the third phase, opening in 1994.

SkyBridge has a pair of 404-ft-tall (123 metre towers, and its length is 2,021 ft (616 metres). It was the longest cable-supported, transit-only bridge in the world until 2019, when the Egongyan Rail Transit Bridge across the Yangtze River in China reached completion.

TransLink has indicated it is currently in the process of examining major improvements to Columbia Station to improve its capacity. It was not designed for its current heavy volumes as an interchange station.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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