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B.C.’s Golden Ears toll bridge reaches halfway point

LANGLEY, B.C. -- Construction is now at the halfway point for a new bridge that will cross the Fraser River between...

LANGLEY, B.C. — Construction is now at the halfway point for a new bridge that will cross the Fraser River between Maple Ridge and Fort Langley, a project expected to open in the summer of 2009, according to a representative from B.C.’s transportation authority, TransLink chair, Dale Parker.

“It’s exciting to see this new crossing of the Fraser River take shape as part of TransLink’s major road network,” said Parker, on a recent tour of the area. “TransLink’s Golden Ears Bridge is the largest addition to Metro Vancouver’s (formerly Greater Vancouver regional district) road system, since the Alex Fraser Bridge (connecting Delta and New Westminster) was built over 20 years ago,” he said.

The Golden Ears bridge project is approximately 14 km in length and will feature a six-lane, kilometre-long, tolled span across the Fraser River, as well as new arterial roads connecting the bridge to the existing road network, on both sides of the river, and municipal road upgrades to improve traffic flow. The bridge will connect Maple Ridge with Langley and is expected to reduce travel times while improving the movement of people, goods and services, according to Parker.

“The Golden Ears Bridge will save at least 20 to 30 minutes for people driving across the Fraser River. So depending on your commute and where you live: you could save an hour a day.”

TransLink’s vice-president of major construction projects, Fred Cummings, and Michael Heerdt, the project manager for the Golden Crossing Constructors Joint Venture (GCCJV) which is designing and building the project were also part of the tour, as well as B.C. Minister of Transportation, Kevin Falcon, who spoke on the status of the overall provincial transportation vision.

“This project complements our Gateway Program’s upgrades, and expansions to provincial bridges and highways in Metro Vancouver,” said Falcon.

The GCCJV started building the project in the summer of 2006. The new bridge is not only expected to improve travel times, it is also expected to reduce regional congestion, and open up access to employment, markets, services, facilities and recreational opportunities, according to the GCCJV. The bridge is also expected to provide new travel choices for transit users, cyclists and pedestrians.

The Golden Crossing General Partnership, owned by Bilfinger Berger Project Investments, has a 35.5 year contract with TransLink to design, build, operate, finance, maintain and rehabilitate the bridge and road network. Design and construction of the project has been assigned to the GCCJV, led by Bilfinger Berger (Canada) Inc. and CH2MHill Canada Ltd.

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