(Video above from TransLink’s Youtube info stream, posted at 8pm yesterday. Ken Hardie is doing the voiceover.)
As you most likely have heard by now, a fire broke out on the Pattullo Bridge yesterday, prompting an immediate closure of the bridge. Here’s more info on its status, and the consequent changes throughout our transport systems to cope with the rerouted traffic. (Did you know TransLink owns and maintains the Pattullo Bridge, btw?)
I’ll keep you updated throughout the day as the situation changes. Also, as many people at TransLink are quite busy dealing with the bridge situation, my answers to comments on this post might be a bit slower than normal.
Status of the bridge:
- The Pattullo Bridge is closed to all traffic (vehicle, bicycle and foot ) until further notice due to a fire at the south end of the bridge.
- A 60 foot section of the bridge was damaged by the fire and will require replacement, which may take four to six weeks. Cause of the fire is under investigation by Surrey RCMP.
- The damaged section of the bridge will be demolished shortly.
- The final design of the replacement is underway and will be completed shortly. Based on the availability of materials, the reconstruction will begin as soon as possible.
- The Ministry of Transportation has pledged its support to assist in getting the bridge re-opened as soon as possible.
Traffic and Transit Options for commuters:
- Notes to customers:
- The Pattullo handles about 20 per cent of vehicle traffic across the Fraser River. As such, as motorists and commercial operators divert primarily to the Port Mann and Alex Fraser Bridges and the George Massey Tunnel – all motorists should expect additional traffic congestion and longer travel times.
- There will be additional demand on SkyTrains and bus routes for transit customers travelling between Surrey and the New Westminster, Burnaby and Vancouver areas – transit passengers should expect delays and crowding on routes crossing the Fraser River.
- Motorists and transit passengers leaving the South of Fraser to destinations in Vancouver, Burnaby, the Tri-Cities and New Westminster are asked to plan for earlier trips (prior to 7 am) or later trips (after 9 am) to avoid the peak demand periods.
- Carpool with neighbours or work mates. TransLink provides on-line ridesharing services via Jack Bell Ride-Share.
- The RCMP advises that they will step up enforcement on HOV lanes.
- Telecommuting (work from home) is encouraged if possible
- Bicycle access to SkyTrain is suspended until further notice due to capadity limitations.
- For commuters who normally drive through New Westminster to Surrey, there is ample parking available in New Westminster’s Front Street Parkade near the New Westminster and Columbia SkyTrain stations.
- Emergency services are already planning their contingencies to attend emergencies and provide ambulance services while the Pattullo remains out of service.
- SkyTrain will add from two to four additional trains between Scott Road and Waterfront Stations to provide extra capacity in the peak period.
- There will be ten additional trains left in service in the off-peak periods.
- SkyTrain will begin service at 4:30 am
- Peak service will be maintained as long as necessary into the mid day and evening
- CMBC will supply extra buses to increase services as required on existing routes, plus additonal service where necessary to support the extra SkyTrain capacity
- Discussions will be held with Surrey and New Westminster to provide more on-street parking areas for buses near SkyTrain stations
Bus reroutes and other traffic information as of 9:30 a.m.:
- The following bus routes are back in regular service: 640, 321, 316, 319, 391 and C71.
- All westbound 320 service to Surrey Central Station rerouting off of 152 Street, via 100 Ave, 154 Street, 104 Ave, then reg. route into Surrey Central station. Eastbound 320 from Surrey Central Station (opposite to above).
- 332s and 335s rerouted eastbound only via 104th Ave, as they can’t get through on 108th Ave—westbound on regular route via 108 Ave
- Westbound 88th/Nordel Way is backed up to 125th Street
- 301s significantly delayed along route
- Eastbound 108th Ave is backed up to 140th
- Two shuttle buses are on a loop routing from Surrey Central to Guildford Mall and back
- Eastbound and westbound 104th Ave is flowing as of 0800
- Northbound 152nd street is backed up to 96th Ave
- 99 Hwy North backed up to King George Hwy exit South Surrey
- Ladner Trunk road has experienced short term closures this morning due to black-ice and associated accidents