Replacement needed for damaged B.C. bridge

SURREY, B.C. — The damaged portion of a bridge spanning the Fraser River in B.C.’s Lower Mainland will need to be replaced, rather than rebuilt.

Early Sunday morning, a fire to the Pattullo Bridge’s wooden support structures kept firefighter crews busy for several hours.

As a result of the fire, the bridge will be closed for about four to six weeks while it is being repaired. The closure caused increased traffic backlogs on Monday morning as the 80,000 daily travelers of the bridge were forced onto other routes and public transit.

Vehicles crossing the Fraser River will have the options of taking the Alex Fraser Bridge, the Port Mann Bridge on the Trans-Canada Highway, or the George Massey Tunnel on Highway 99.

TransLink – the south coast of B.C.’s transportation authority – is also looking at possible solutions to alleviate traffic and put extra buses and trains into service during peak commute times.

Rather than be rebuilt, the damaged portion of the bridge will be replaced, a project that was already in the works by TransLink.

With more than seven decades of service, the Pattullo Bridge was expected to receive upgrades in the near future so it could continue service while a new, larger crossing was built to take its place.

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