Refurbish or replace? Letter writers debate solutions for the Pattullo Bridge.

Refurbish or replace? Letter writers debate solutions for the Pattullo Bridge.

50 years with no tolls? So be it

Contrary to Anita Huberman’s (CEO, Surrey Board of Trade) recommendation of replacing the Pattullo, I and many other people, say “keep the Pattullo Bridge.”

According to engineering studies, the Pattullo could have a life expectancy of 50 years with rehabilitation. Mayor Dianne Watts has also said we need a new bridge and this is just buying time or forestalling the inevitable.

What Huberman and Watts fail to realize or acknowledge (along with many other governing officials) is that many families and other people are constrained by their household budgets. We have a $5 toll coming on the Port Mann Bridge (wastefully, they have also seen fit to tear down and dispose of that old bridge). For those who have to use it, that’s an additional $2,400 per year expense.

Not only that, we have recently suffered a huge HST expense. Quite frankly, the people who subscribe to all this big spending are out of control.

So, in the final analysis, if we can renovate the old Pattullo Bridge and use it for another 50 years and thereby avoid a costly toll – so be it.

 

James Dartnell

Replace, don’t upgrade Pattullo Bridge

It is hard to believe our provincial government is serious in refurbishing the 73-year-old Pattullo Bridge.

For those who still believe this bridge should not be replaced, I invite you to take a trip under it and see how bad shape it really is in. The concrete was patched up years ago to hide the numerous cracks. You can see and feel the shaking when a heavy truck passes over it. Built in the late ’30s, it was not meant to be used by heavy 18-wheelers.

The price tag of $1 billion to replace this outdated piece of rust could easily been saved from the money spent on the 2010 Winter Olympics. Eliminating many of the unneeded Olympic frills – extravagant parties, celebrations, free tickets and more, such as upgrading the road to Whistler – would have paid part of a new bridge and also eliminated the need more new tolls.

This suggested “refurbishing” will end up the same as the improvement of the old Port Mann Bridge on which same government wasted millions to add just one extra lane, soon to be sold as scrap metal.

Pieter Spierenburg, Surrey

Tolls bad for B.C.

Regarding the Pattullo Bridge issue, I disagree with transportation minister Shirley Bond.

Her belief is that British Columbians have no problem paying tolls if they get to their destinations faster.

My question to Shirley Bond is, “Who has she been talking to?” These words sound like the old transportation minister Kevin Falcon, and he was wrong too.

I have talked to all classes of people – the rich, the poor, the middle class. No one want to pay or see anymore tolls in B.C. Just look at the Golden Ears Bridge at peak times. Hardly anyone is using the bridge and on the weekends, the bridge looks like a ghost town.

Why? No one wants to pay the tolls. I can’t wait to see the new Port Mann tolls come in affect in 2013. Watch how people avoid the Port Mann then.

People and employers are already making changes to avoid the new toll bridge. Some people will not work on the west side of the Port Mann. Companies are ready to move out of the Coquitlam, Burnaby and Vancouver area due to the new tolls.

This is a bad deal for everyone, and I blame the Liberals and Kevin Falcon who came up with this stupid idea.

Remove the tolls. It will hurt B.C.

Todd Norberg

Surrey North Delta Leader