NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. – Efforts to replace B.C.’s aging Pattullo Bridge reached a major milestone this month after the project received its environmental assessment certificate.
“Today we are taking a major step forward in helping people get to work and back home to their families reliably and safely, without having to pay tolls,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation, in a statement. “As one of the oldest bridges in Metro Vancouver, the Pattullo is an essential link for the 68,000 motorists who use it daily, but it has needed to be replaced for years. The new bridge is on track to open by 2023 and will be built to modern safety and seismic standards.”
The Pattullo Bridge links the communities of Surrey and New Westminster over the Fraser River.
The $1.377-billion crossing will feature four lanes and accommodate cyclists and walkers in addition to drivers.
To improve safety, the new will implement modern, wider lanes, separated by a centre median barrier. The bridge will have a dedicated walking and cycling lanes, separated from traffic by a barrier on both sides of the bridge.
Work on the bridge is expected to start this year and wrap up in 2023. The old bridge will be demolished following the construction of the new bridge.
“The environmental assessment certificate is a significant step for the project and will set out the conditions of how the new bridge will be designed and built. As we move ahead to the next stage, it is important to continue meaningful consultation and engagement with Indigenous groups and local communities. This is a vital investment from our government that will provide relief and make life better for so many British Columbians,” Trevena said.
The bridge will be delivered, funded and owned by the Province of B.C. It will also be one of the first projects in the province to be built under the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA).
“Our government is excited to build with the Community Benefits Agreement,” said Trevena. “With community benefits, we are putting local workers first in line for good jobs, so they can work close to home. We are also increasing the participation of women, Indigenous peoples and apprentices to address the skilled trades shortage and help train the next generation.”
However, the agreement has received heavy criticism from many of the province’s construction associations who accuse it of favouring unions.