Pattullo Bridge work finishes a month early

TransLink says bridge repair work was done faster than expected over the summer, avoiding the need to continue closures in September

The Pattullo Bridge will be reopened to all four lanes of traffic one month ahead of schedule, easing commutes in September when traffic volumes normally rise.

Rehabilitation work on the bridge deck has been underway since April 29 and TransLink had warned drivers to expect five months of delays until early October, with traffic reduced to one lane each way weekdays and complete bridge closures about two nights a week and one weekend a month.

“Despite wet weather in June, crews were able to get more done in a shorter period of time by scheduling additional weekend and overnight closures and reducing the number of concrete pours,” TransLink officials said in a release.

The return to four-lane traffic during the day happens Monday, Aug. 29. Regular overnight lane closures that reduce the Pattullo to one lane each way at night for safety reasons will resume.

The final complete bridge closures were to be tonight, Thursday night and from 8 p.m. Friday Aug. 26 until 5 a.m. Monday Aug. 29.

Crews repaired 1,180 square metres of bridge deck. The work included milling off the asphalt surface, removing all deck concrete down to the top layer of rebar. repairing delaminated concrete and cleaning or replacing rebar, and repaving the deck area with a concrete overlay.

The aim was to extned the life of the bridge deck with minimal maintenance to keep the bridge open while a replacement is desinged and built, a project expected to take up to seven years.

The $10-million project was dramatically scaled down from what was originally intended to be a $100-million rehabilitation lasting 18 months.

TransLink officials last fall ruled out seismic rehab work – they decided it was too expensive if it was even possible – and opted to minimize spending since it intends to replace the Pattullo with a new bridge as quickly as possible.

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