VANCOUVER, B.C. — Canada’s federal government and B.C.s provincial government have agreed to cost-share the construction of a new seven-lane bridge across the Pitt River.
B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and David Emerson, Federal Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, broke ground at the site today.
The federal government is providing $90 million in funding for costs associated with the construction of the bridge and a new grade-separated interchange at Lougheed Highway and Mary Hill Bypass, while the province is providing $108 million.
“The economy of the Pacific is driving a global economic shift and we must capitalize on our geographic advantage by building to seize the opportunities emerging in Canada’s Pacific Gateway,” said Campbell. “This is the first contract in our B.C. Gateway Program to improve infrastructure help reduce congestion and improve the movement of people and goods to boost our economy and our quality of life.”
The seven-lane bridge will replace the two existing swing bridges that have seen vehicle traffic numbers triple since 1985.
The cable-stayed bridge is designed to significantly reduce traffic congestion and delays as well as reducing interference with marine traffic. With fewer piers in the river, this new bridge will also reduce impacts to the environment and marine users.
Work will begin immediately and the project is expected to be complete by November 2009.
“The ability to move goods quickly and efficiently through the Lower Mainland and into the markets across Canada and the United States is very important to importers and exporters,” said Emerson. “This new bridge is the first of many Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor projects that will help our local communities, as well as contribute to Canada’s trade competitiveness.”
Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative is an integrated set of investment and policy measures to strengthen Canada’s competitive position in international commerce. The initiative delivers significant new public investment $591 million overall, including $321 million in immediate projects for a variety of infrastructure, transportation technology and border security projects.
The project is also part of the B.C. Gateway Program the Ministry of Transportation’s plan to meet the needs of B.C.’s growing economy, increasing Asia-Pacific trade, and a growing population.
Additional information about the B.C. Gateway Program can be found at www.gatewayprogram.bc.ca.
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