Wright caught ‘flat-footed’ by Surrey assertion

New Westminster is upset Surrey is saying the Royal City has cancelled consultations on replacing the Pattullo Bridge.

New Westminster mayor Wayne Wright

New Westminster mayor Wayne Wright

New Westminster politicians were caught “flat-footed” by Surrey council’s assertion the Royal City has cancelled consultations on replacing the Pattullo Bridge.

Mayor Wayne Wright said there has been some miscommunication because the city has every intention of participating in the next round of joint public consultation with Surrey and TransLink on what to do with the 76-year-old structure in early 2014.

“If it is (cancelled) we don’t know about it,” said Wright on Wednesday. “That’s all baloney. We’re right in the midst of [the consultation].”

The city has fired off letters to Surrey and TransLink expressing surprise at the charge made by Surrey Coun. Barinder Rasode that New Westminster has pulled out of the consultation.

New West Coun. Jonathan Coté said Surrey is being disingenuous.

“That’s completely inaccurate and it’s disappointing the city is doing that,” said Coté. “I’m perplexed about why the City of Surrey is putting out misinformation.”

Earlier this year, the three organizations whittled 25 possible options down to six.

They include rehabilitating the Pattullo to be either a three-lane or to its current four-lane configuration, replacing it with a four-, five-, or six-lane structure, or building a four-lane bridge connecting Surrey to the Coquitlam and the northeast sector where New Westminster believes most of the truck traffic on the Pattullo is headed.

The latter option would also include rehabbing the Pattullo to three lanes and an expanded pedestrian and cyclist lane.

It’s the option New Westminster likes because replacing the Pattullo, especially to six-lanes as Surrey would prefer, would ratchet up the volume of traffic on the Royal City’s already heavily congested streets.

“It makes common sense,” said Wright of the Coquitlam connection. “The only problem with it is it’s more costly than the others.”

Replacing the Pattullo would be in the $1-billion range depending on how many lanes it has. Rehabilitation of it has been estimated at about $300 million.

Surrey is worried if TransLink is forced to fix the bridge before a decision is made because of New Westminster’s stubbornness an opportunity to build a proper crossing will have been lost.

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

But Wright said if the Surrey-to-Coquitlam connection were to get the go-ahead, any rehab TransLink is forced to do while a decision is made will not have been wasted.

The mayor added the option would have a positive effect economically to the region, and the Pattullo would be retained.

“It’s so much money we have to spend, we’ve got to get it right,” said Wright.

“I can’t see people not supporting it. But that has to be proven.”

He took exception to another Surrey councillor reportedly saying instead of delaying and filibustering to the end New Westminster needs to give its head a shake for opposing the replacement on principle.

“We are giving our head a shake. We’re shaking it for the people (of New Westminster) to have a say,” said Wright.

 

with file from Kevin Diakiw

Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

Surrey School District building. (File photo)
‘We’re in a financial lockdown’: Surrey school district working with $40M budget deficit

District, board points to lack of immigration for new student enrolment

Surrey-raised Tetsuro Shigematsu wrote and stars in “1 Hour Photo,” a Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre’s production to be presented online by Surrey Civic Theatres on April 23-24. (submitted photo/Raymond Shum)
‘This Japanese kid who grew up in Whalley’ thrilled to return with acclaimed ‘1 Hour Photo’

City’s Digital Stage to show Tetsuro Shigematsu’s solo portrait of Mas Yamamoto

Steve Serbic, assistant chief of operations for the Surrey Fire Service, has written a book, “The Unbroken” delving into his struggles with post-traumatic stress. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey firefighter writes book to ‘be part of the change’ in stigma around post-traumatic stress

‘The Unbroken’ details Steve Serbic’s childhood, career and journey dealing with mental health issues

Everett Cummings in a tribute video posted to dignitymemorial.com.
Mechanic’s death at Surrey dock results in $200K fine for company, union says

Photos of rally outside Surrey court posted on ILWU’s ‘Kill A Worker Go To Jail’ Facebook page

Fish processing workers fillet farm-raised salmon in Surrey B.C. Photo courtesy BCSFA
Discovery Islands salmon farm removal impacts jobs in B.C.’s Lower Mainland: report

The City of Surrey is the hub of the salmon farming industry in Metro Vancouver

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
VIDEO: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Most Read