B.C. truckers feeling the loss of Pattullo Bridge

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VANCOUVER, B.C. — The loss of the Pattullo Bridge, which connects Surrey and New Westminster, is taking its toll on the region’s trucking businesses, where drivers are spending wasted hours caught in traffic jams caused by motorists diverting to other routes, according to a story published in the Vancouver Sun.


From Port Metro Vancouver, where pick-up and delivery turnaround times were being monitored Monday to determine the impact of the traffic chaos to individual trucking lines, which are spending more time on the road, there will be a business cost to the bridge closure.


“Absolutely, this is costing us,” Dan Watson, terminal manager at Reimer Express Lines, which has from 40-to-50 trucks on the regions roads every day, told the Sun.


He said it’s too early in the crisis to peg the dollar cost or the time lost cost, but it’s bound to be considerable


Only 5% of the region’s truck traffic uses the Pattullo Bridge, so the loss of the bridge for a month has little direct effect on trucking deliveries, said Louise Yako, vice-president of the B.C. Trucking Association.


“However, there will be system-wide effects as other traffic is dispersed throughout the Lower Mainland,” she said.


Yako said truckers are caught in the same traffic jams as other motorists and have no other alternative than to wait it out.


“They will have more difficulty meeting shipping times; they will have more difficulty arriving to either pick up or drop off goods if they are on a scheduled basis. Generally, they will have the same problems any other vehicle will have when there are congested conditions.”


The bridge was disabled Sunday, after a suspicious fire engulfed an 18-metre section of wooden trestle at its south end, according to the Vancouver Sun. The bridge’s 80,000 daily commuters have been diverted to the Port Mann and Alex Fraser bridges, the George Massey tunnel and onto public transit.

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