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Fraser River toll bridge will be a challenge to build

LANGLEY, B.C. -- The new Fraser River crossing linking Langley with Pitt Meadows should be finished by 2007, accord...


LANGLEY, B.C. — The new Fraser River crossing linking Langley with Pitt Meadows should be finished by 2007, according to TransLink, and truckers can expect to pay higher tolls than other vehicles.

It’s also expected toll rates will vary depending on the time of day, with heavier tolls being slapped on drivers who cross during rush hour.

Construction of the bridge is expected to be challenging, according to engineers who have drilled test holes along the river bed on both sides of the Fraser River. On both sides, engineers drilled 133 metres before hitting bedrock.

"It’s just muck, clay and silt," Fred Cummings, civil engineer and project director recently told local media. "My technical consultant says it has the consistency of toothpaste. The materials are really poor, so it’s going to be a real challenge designing the pile foundations."

He adds the challenges aren’t insurmountable, and construction of the 1.2-kilometre bridge will go ahead as planned. Construction is expected to being in 2004, and cost roughly $600 million. TransLink plans to use the same tolling technology as is used on Hwy. 407 in Ontario.


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