May 7, 2019 by David Kennedy
SURREY, B.C.—Plans to start work on a replacement for the Pattullo Bridge that connects Surrey to New Westminster, B.C. took a step forward May 2 as the province’s ministers of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and Municipal Affairs and Housing signed off an environmental assessment for a new four-lane bridge.
Along with four lanes dedicated to vehicles, the new bridge will include separated lanes for pedestrians and cyclist on both sides of the bridge. It will also be built to meet modern seismic standards.
The current span over the Fraser River is now more than 80-years-old. Claire Trevena, B.C.’s minister of Transportation and Infrastructure noted it’s one of the oldest in Metro Vancouver.
“Pattullo is an essential link for the 68,000 motorists who use it daily, but it has needed to be replaced for years,” she said in a statement, adding that the new bridge is on track to open by 2023.
The environmental approval comes with 20 conditions, including construction and demolition environmental management plans and a fish and wildlife habitat offsetting plan.
Construction is expected to get underway this year, though the procurement process remains ongoing. In February, the province shortlisted three construction teams for the $1.37 billion project. Once the winning bidder is chosen, plans have crews breaking ground 100 metres upstream from the current span.
Several other approvals from all tiers of government, as well as a environmental review permits from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority are still required.