Bridge brouhaha brewing as cities hit road block over new Pattullo

New Westminster has dug in its heels against expanding the span, Surrey's transportation committee says.

Surrey and New Westminster are at odds over what to do with the aging Pattullo Bridge.

A proposed expansion of the Pattullo Bridge has hit an axle-bending speed bump as New Westminster has postponed the second phase of public consultation on the project.

The 77-year-old Pattullo Bridge is in need of upgrades, for which TransLink has set aside $300 million.

However, officials with the transportation authority, which has responsibility for the Pattullo, are reluctant to spend heavily on repairs if a new bridge is in the offing.

Surrey’s transportation plan calls for a widening of the bridge to six lanes, which several councillors in the city say the public broadly supports. That would cost an estimated $1.6 billion.

Another option is a four-lane bridge, which would cost about $800 million.

However, New Westminster wants neither, committee members have said, adding the municipality has put off the second phase of TrasnLink’s public consultation on bridge expansion.

New West opposes the expansion – preferring instead to keep upgrading the aging span – because it will funnel greater volumes of traffic into its community.

“It’s unfortunate,” said committee member Coun. Barinder Rasode. “We’ve been in engaged in a process for many years on community consultation and exploring options. And our planning has always revolved around a six-lane Pattullo expansion.”

With both sides dug in, TransLink may have to go to the province to settle the matter.

“Right now, because it’s a TransLink bridge, it’s entrusted on TransLink to resolve the issues on both sides,” said Surrey’s General Manager of Engineering Vincent Lalonde.

Rasode said that by “nature of its geography” New Westminster is a transportation corridor and should accept a wider bridge.

Metro Vancouver, she said, has also supported a bridge expansion.

Surrey officials say that the best use of the dollars is to expand it, rather than continue to fix the span.

The $300 million for upgrades would have to be spent again in another 20 years or so.

A new span would last between 75 and 100 years, city staff say.

Calls to New Westminster Mayor Wayne Wright were not returned by The Leader’s press deadline.

City of Surrey staff are now trying to negotiate with New Westminster and TransLink to see if the discussion can move forward.

TransLink has winnowed 25 Pattullo Bridge replacement configurations down to six.

It aims to shortlist two or three preferred options this winter ahead of a final choice – if the cities of Surrey and New Westminster can unite behind one.

It’s assumed the new $1-billion-plus crossing would be paid for through tolls but no decision has been made on financing.

TransLink had been hoping a decision on the planned replacement would be made next year.

@diakiw

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey mayor denies property tax deferral motion

Councillor’s notice of motion for Surrey property taxes to be deferred until Dec. 2 out of order

Team refunds OK’d for cancelled Surrey Mayor’s Cup soccer tournament

The decision follows the amalgamation of the Central City Breakers club with Surrey Football Club

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

April 7: Brewery starts making hand sanitizer, City of White Rock and Surrey lays off employees

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Look at hospitalizations, not recovery stats for COVID-19, B.C. professor says

Cases in hospital are a definitive count of people who have the novel coronavirus

B.C. First Nations want to launch fight of Trans Mountain pipeline approval

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear five challenges about the pipeline

N95 masks on the way for Canada after 3M reaches deal with White House

The Trump White House had ordered 3M to stop shipping masks to Canada

Most Read