Drivers heading over the old Port Mann Bridge may be redirected onto some of the lanes of the new bridge as early as September

Drivers to get early use of new Port Mann Bridge

Some lanes open this fall to aid construction phasing

Motorists may be driving over part of the new Port Mann Bridge as early as September.

Tolls won’t be charged until the bridge formally opens with eight out of 10 lanes operational in December.

But Port Mann/Highway 1 Project spokesman Max Logan said some traffic will begin using at least a couple of lanes sometime this fall.

Shifting some traffic onto the new bridge will help with construction staging as crews still have extensive work ahead of them in the months ahead, notably in completing new overpasses at the Cape Horn interchange on the Coquitlam side.

“It could be as early as September,” he said. “It’s likely to be the eastbound lanes that are moved first. The details of that and the timing is still being worked out with the contractor.”

Logan likens the early lane openings to the traffic pattern changes that have seen exits and on-ramps shift to accommodate work along the 37-kilometre construction corridor.

“By shifting some lanes over to the bridge not only does that create some work space for us it also allows us to transition traffic gradually over to the new bridge.”

He said the transportation ministry wants to avoid anything like California’s multi-day freeway construction closures that have been dubbed Carmageddon.

“Phasing more gradually will minimize the impacts to traffic,” he said.

Drivers will be given plenty of advance warning of any changes, he said.

Logan said drivers won’t experience the full travel time savings until the initial eight lanes of the new bridge are open and electronic tolling begins.

It will take another year before all 10 lanes are in service, because the old bridge must be taken down before the last two lanes of the new span can be connected to Highway 1.

Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom has said the planned $3 per crossing minimum toll may be lowered for the first year while only eight lanes are open. Tolling details are to be released in early September.

Also slated to open in December is the northeastern leg of the South Fraser Perimeter Road, which promises a quick route to and from the Pattullo Bridge for drivers who want a free crossing, although critics predict heavy traffic on other roads in north Surrey, Delta, New Westminster and Burnaby.

Still to be determined is how a promised Highway 1 rapid bus service over the new bridge will be launched by cash-strapped TransLink.

Just Posted

Oversize load collides with Highway 1 overpass in Chilliwack

Traffic disrupted eastbound around Lickman Road over pass Monday morning

Harrison workers back on the job

Union calls new agreement ‘a good compromise’

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Heat warning issued for Metro Vancouver

Inland areas expect to hit at least 26 degrees for daytime highs

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Glow Langley returns bigger and brighter this Christmas

Organizers will also introduce Harvest Glow — a celebration of autumn

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

Most Read