On Dec. 1, commuters in the Coquitlam, B.C. area began enjoying their drive across eight-lanes of the 10-lane Port Mann Bridge, designed to significantly reduce commute times and accommodate regular transit service across the bridge for the first time in 25 years.
The opening of the bridge marks the end of the first phase of the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project, the largest transportation project in B.C.’s history. Phase 1 of the project also included highway widening from 202 Street in Langley to Brunette Avenue in Coquitlam and rebuilding interchanges from 176 Street in Surrey to Cape Horn in Coquitlam.
The Port Mann Bridge is the widest bridge in the world and the largest main span river crossing in Western Canada, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. It is comprised of three main components: the 288-cable, 850-m long cable-stayed main bridge across the Fraser River, the 360-m long approach on the Surrey side (Surrey side) and the 820-m long approach on the Coquitlam side.
Materials used in the construction of the bridge included: 157,000 cu. m. of concrete; 25,000 tonnes of asphalt for the new bridge deck; 288 cables; 251 piles; 108 caissons; two 158-m high pylon towers; 1,158 pre-cast segments in the approach spans; 45 km of cable; 16 km of pile and five kilometres of drilled shafts; and 116 steel composite segments in the cable-stay span.
Construction work will continue through 2013 on the Port Mann Bridge to complete the bridge’s 10-lane capacity, as well as on Highway 1widening and interchange improvements through Coquitlam, Burnaby and Vancouver.
Source: B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.