The Second Narrows Bridge (now Iron Workers’ Memorial Bridge) in 1961

Bridge history takes its toll

The final word on paying to cross the water: Most Lower Mainland bridges were tolled prior to 1964.

In a letter to the editor, N.K. Robbins attempted to set the record straight on un-tolled bridges, but he came up a bit short.

Most Lower Mainland bridges were tolled prior to 1964, when the un-tolled Port Mann Bridge opened. The Oak Street Bridge was tolled from 1957 to 1959. The George Massey Tunnel was tolled for five years from its opening (as the Deas Island Tunnel) in 1959 until 1964. The Second Narrows Bridge (now Iron Workers’ Memorial Bridge) was also tolled from its opening in 1960 until 1963. The removal of the tolls on the Iron Workers’ Memorial Bridge, and other bridges in the Lower Mainland, conveniently coincided with the 1963 B.C. election.

Perhaps Premier Christy Clark could be inspired by then-premier WAC Bennett. His Socreds easily won a majority that year.

And while I am at it, the Queensborough Bridge was tolled from 1960 until 1966 when New Westminster sold the bridge to the province.

Yes, there was a 1966 election. Yes, WAC Bennett won again.

My flawed logic tells me that an easy way for Clark to win the 2013 election is to remove some bridge tolls. Or perhaps the provincial economy in the mid-1960s was a little different than it is today.

 

A.D. Ellis, Delta

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