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

‘Coffee with Cops’ visits Cloverdale

Surrey RCMP Wendy Mehat says there is always a good response from the public for the informal chat sessions

Surrey’s top cop Dwayne McDonald is moving on

McDonald’s new role is RCMP’s criminal operations officer in charge of federal, investigative services and organized crime for B.C.

Overdose deaths down in Surrey, but more than two people still dying a week

As of the end of August, 86 people died by illicit drug overdose in Surrey, which is a drop from 2018

Federal candidates’ Facebook ad spending disclosed

Facebook’s new Ad Library shows how much candidates are spending on advertisements

GOWN UP to raise $10m for Surrey Memorial Hospital upgrades

The money will be used to upgrade 10 operating rooms, buy cutting-edge equipment and recruit more top-notch surgeons

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

Man who orchestrated Mission murders gets day parole after serving less than three years

Victims’ parents express grief, outrage over parole board decision

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read