The proposal to create a park on the soon-to-be-replaced Port Mann Bridge is novel, but for the costs involved, several alternative parks could likely be created.
The proper recycling of the Port Mann Bridge is as a railway crossing, replacing the 107-year-old New Westminster Bridge, more commonly known as the Pattullo railway bridge.
Removal of the traffic deck from the present Port Mann Bridge should reduce the weight on the bridge sufficiently that a low-level lift span for railway trains could be suspended from the existing arch.
A new rail crossing at the location would shorten the journey of most trains to Vancouver by three miles and make service more reliable than using the slow, single-track New Westminster Bridge.
The B.C. government is spending huge amounts of money to improve access to Roberts Bank but appears to be neglecting access to Burrard Inlet. This proposal is a great opportunity to remedy that shortcoming.
Such a bridge should fittingly be called the Thomas Gifford Bridge, honouring the man who was the superintendent of New Westminster Bridge from 1904-1946. He was also the best-known athlete in B.C. 100 years ago, backstopping the New Westminster Salmonbellies lacrosse team to numerous Minto Cups.
Barrie Sanford, Merritt