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Translink Buzzer Blog

The New Pattullo Bridge – we want to hear from you!

The existing (old) Pattullo Bridge

Back in July 31, 2008, TransLink’s Board of Directors decided the Pattullo Bridge (built in 1937) needed to be replaced. Designed to last 50 years, the 75-year-old bridge has outlived its projected life.

In terms of modern day safety, structure, seismic and riverbed scour (water that removes sand and rocks from around the bridge piers) factors, the bridge is outdated. Although the existing bridge has exceeded its projected lifespan, it’s still in usable condition, safe and will continue to be monitored until the new bridge has been completed. Once the new Pattullo Bridge is completed, the old one will be dismantled.

Tomorrow, TransLink will begin the public engagement portion of the consultation process for the bridge, which will help determine the future of the New Pattullo Bridge Project. The general objectives for creating this new bridge are the following:

  • Improve safety and reliability for all users (cars, trucks, pedestrians, cyclists and marine traffic)
  • Mitigate the impact on community livability, green space and industrial land
  • Support TransLink’s Transportation Strategy for Metro Vancouver (Transport 2040)

Workshops on a new Pattullo Bridge will include discussions on the new bridge’s location and connections including the Major Road Network and the South Fraser Perimeter Road. There will also be a live streamed webinar on March 8th at 7 p.m., in which I’ll be taking part.

If you have questions about the bridge that you’d like me to address during the webinar, please post them in the comments section.

We have a dedicated Pattullo Bridge page on the TransLink website that has all the details. Here are the essential public consultations dates and times:

Workshop dates:

February 21, 2012
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Centennial Community Centre
65 East 6th Avenue, New Westminster
February 22, 2012
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Surrey City Centre Library
10350 University Drive, Surrey
February 23, 2012
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Inn at the Quay
900 Quayside Drive, New Westminster
February 27, 2012
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Surrey City Centre Library
10350 University Drive, Surrey

Workshop Schedule

6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Open house

7 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Presentation

7:30 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. – Small group discussion

8:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Small groups report back

If you can’t make the workshops, you can complete an online questionnaire which will be posted here tomorrow. The live webinar is on Thursday, March 8 at 7 p.m. You’ll need to register here to post questions online in real time.

TransLink has been and will continue to work with municipalities connected to the bridge including New Westminister. The New Pattullo Bridge process and New Westminister Master Transportation Plan process are proceeding in parallel.

During the construction process, the existing bridge will continue to be in use up until the day the new bridge opens. Once the new Pattullo Bridge is completed, the old one will be dismantled. Following the extensive consultation process, the design development phase of the project will start, which will include an environmental assessment consultation. Next, a construction team will be selected to complete the bridge by the projected date of 2018.

I encourage everyone to read the FAQ section of the Pattullo Bridge page which has a lot of great content. Your input on the future of the bridge will be crucial, so make sure to post your questions here and mark your calenders with the dates for the public workshops and webinar.


  • By Andrew, February 20, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

    No tolls please. South of Fraser has been getting hosed enough with the Port Mann being tolled (I don’t see tolls on the Sea to Sky) and we don’t deserve to get hit once again with more tolls.

  • By Pat J, February 20, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

    Tolls, please. How else are we going to pay for it? Bad decisions in the past (Sea to Sky) do not justify bad decisions today. Make the toll the same as the one for the closest alternative- I believe it costs $3.75 to cross the SkyBridge? Sounds about right.

  • By Joe, February 21, 2012 @ 1:09 am

    Put it to a vote for South of Fraser residents. Toll, or a “bridge tax” for everyone living there. Whichever one wins gets used to fund it.

  • By Marvin B, February 21, 2012 @ 8:28 am

    Can I vote for TransLink to get out of the bridge and road business and stick solely with the transit business? How can TransLink possibly not have a conflict of interest when they need more motorists to pay tolls (which in turn pay for the bridge) and are at the same time saying “get out of your car, take transit”? It’s nonsensical. No wonder TransLink is broke, trying to satisfy two different groups with very different expectations (the car driving commuters vs the transit riding public).

  • By Pat J, February 21, 2012 @ 9:13 am

    Joe, why not poll the South of Fraser Residents if they would rather have the $1 Billion spent on two more bridge lanes or on light rail or SkyTrain technology South of the Fraser? And sonce we are all paying for this, expand the poll to include the other affected communities- Burnaby and New West

  • By Joe, February 22, 2012 @ 4:52 am

    The bridge is well beyond its useful life, it’s no longer safe. It isn’t an option to not build a new one. A better question then would be “Knock down a bridge and not replace it or replace it”.

  • By Robert, February 22, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

    Should partner with senior levels of government and have double rail tracks on a swing design below incorporated into the bridge structure. The existing rail bridge just upstream (not Skybridge) is over 100 years old, single track, and a major choke point for rail freight heading south, and shared with intercity passenger rail heading south (future Cascadia high speed rail) and east. Definitely a leveraged funding opportunity.

  • By Cliff, February 23, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

    The same story will play out again in New Westminster. The city will refuse to co-operate with surrounding municipalities, throw a tempertantrum, then force the region yet again to shelve a badly needed infrastructure project.

    My suggestion for the Pattullo then? Construct the bridge from Coquitlam via the Pacific Reach area. The alignment would be better suited to compliment the greatly expanded Highway 1 and consequently, lower traffic levels in New Westminster, which is all they whine and moan about. It would also kill businesses in the royal city, but that’s the consequence of New Westminster’s posturing.

  • By Marcel Larouche, February 24, 2012 @ 8:09 pm

    The New Pattullo would not make much sense unless Mc-Bride is expanded to Gaglardi. No Matter which direction one Travels it often comes down to New Westminster being a drag on traffic. Richmond to Coquitlam, Surrey to Burnaby, any direction you choose from the Pattullo Bridge will be restrictive with little hope for NW to get out of the way.
    And for my 100th birthday I would like a Super bridge from Delta 72th Street and the SFPR, all the way across the Fraser to Boundary road (Van-Burnaby).
    Oh yeah and Please name it after me or else maybe the Hwy 99a Vancouver by-pass could be good too i guest!

  • By enzo testa, February 24, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

    Yes I can understand it costs huge dollars to keep up the repairs and what not but do you really honestly think people want to pay to cross a bridge to go back and forth to work?. think again. I will drive around. The last time I checked taxes go up, gas goes up and our page wages stay the same. The pattullo bridge is a total disaster and needs to be widened with a cement barrier in between.

  • By Stephanie, February 27, 2012 @ 8:09 pm

    @ Cliff

    Excuse me? I hardly call defending one’s position whining. Many of Translink’s plans have completely contradicted New West’s vision so the city has rightful said no thanks.

    And residents of New West don’t want the bridge. We realize that building a bigger bridge and attaching to roads that can’t handle the load currently (and have no room to expand) is not a smart idea. Many of us commented on this and pointed out moving it north at the workshop. We were simply told it’s too expensive.

    And at least we don’t go cry to the provincial government like Coquitlam.

  • By Eugene Wong, February 28, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    Thank you, PatJ and Stephanie, for speaking out.

    That being said, if all the car users get to ask for wider roads, then I want a bridge from my home to Lions Bay, with ramps at every downtown along the way.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, February 28, 2012 @ 10:58 am

    Hi everyone: I’m touching base with our engineering department regarding your comments. There are a lot of options when it comes to the new Pattullo bridge, so there’s a lot to discuss. The bridge is very much due to be replaced. What it will be replaced with is what the discussion is all about.

    Just a reminder to keep the conversation respectful so some constructive content comes out in the end.

  • By Keith Thompson, February 29, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

    I would like to see the new Pattullo Connector connect with the new South Parimeter Road to King Edward & Lougheed with United Blvd. used as the New Westminster link via Braid to Brunette, Columbia, and 8th Avenue to McBride. The bailey bridge on Braid would then become the welcome gate to New Westminster. Remember any new bridges can be tolled while existing ones can not.

  • By Tim, March 1, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

    I was disappointed to not see any routes for pedestrians and cyclists shown on the documents for the open houses. I didn’t think that it was right to vote on each option without seeing what the effect would be on pedestrian/cyclist connectivity. So I drew on the plans at the meeting and gave my drawings to the translink representatives. Here they are:

  • By Jim B, March 8, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

    As a resident of New West I don’t support the reconstruction of a new bridge.
    In case it does happen the issues that I see are;
    1) too much traffic through residential areas during rush hour to get to McBride along 6th, 8th and 10th Ave’s
    2) if the bridge is built then there should be a continuation of McBride via Newcombe to Highway 1. My apologies to the residents of Newcombe but there it is.
    3) Residents of Birdlkand in Surrey have experienced structural damage to their homes due to the pile driving that occured with the Port Mann reconstruction. Any thoughts on what the effects of the rebuilding of the Patullo may have?

  • By twiterbee, January 26, 2014 @ 12:05 am

    It was built a small city bridge and should remain as such. East Columbia, for one, cannot tolerate the traffic now. It is way too narrow. The entire system was not designed for high volume traffic to Vancouver. Exactly why, for so many years, there was NO maintenance, is curious. Leave it a small bridge to a small city! and..we need NO more toll bridges!. Poor planning

Other Links to this Post

  1. Tea & Two Slices: On Having It Rough, Vic In Town, And Let’s Have A Bit Of That Old Wit : Scout Magazine — February 22, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

  2. The Buzzer blog » The New Pattullo Bridge Project webinar is this Thursday, March 8, 2012! — March 5, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

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