TransLink announces they’re scaling back work on Pattullo Bridge

Posted on: September 29th, 2019 by
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The good news for drivers? The aging Pattullo Bridge won’t be shut down on nights and weekends for 18 months, as originally expected.

The bad news? There’s still no consensus on what the long-term solution is.

“Right now, we can’t find a technical solution, a viable solution, to extend the life of the bridge by spending a lot of money and repairing the bridge to bring it up to modern seismic code,” said TransLink Board Vice Chair Barry Forbes today.

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“We don’t have a technical solution for that yet.”

He made the announcement at a TransLink board meeting, the organization’s first ever public board meeting.

But despite the open invitation, turnout was low with only one member of the public asking a question.

TransLink’s original plan was to spend half of 2016 and all of 2017 making seismic upgrades to the bridge deck, but they now say the $100 million price tag is too expensive. Instead, minimal upgrades will take place for five months next year.

They were promising a brand new bridge to replace the Pattullo if the transit plebiscite passed, but it failed by a significant margin earlier this year.

Cummings made clear the status quo for the bridge, which opened in 1937, was not an option.

“We’re beyond the design life. We’re outside that 50-year design life. We’ve been operating it for 30 years beyond that.”

Canadian Taxpayers Federation director Jordan Bateman argues a new bridge could still happen without any tax increase.

“TransLink has always been hoping for the big wad of cash and frankly the Pattullo Bridge was a way for the mayors to get support from drivers for their sales tax,” he said.

“They have the one-third funding, they were always planning for it to be a toll bridge, they didn’t need the sales tax. This bridge could proceed.”

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