Thursday, February 5, 2009

Port Mann Bridge

The new bridge was announced on Wednesday Feb 4th. It is more than just the bridge, it is also changes to 37 km of Highway #1.

The plans look very detailed and complete - there is a lot of thought that went into it.

It looks like the Highway will be four lane through Burnaby all the way out to 200th Street in Surrey, up from the three at the moment. The Cape Horn Interchange is being completely redone.

I am also happy that is being done as a P3, this will protect us long term from the sort of massive cost overruns that this sort of transportation capital project normally incurs. Realistically if this were being built by the government, the odds are that it will not be completed on time and is likely to cost an extra $1 000 000 000 to $1 800 000 000. The P3 should give us certainty.

There is a plan to have rapid bus on the bridge running from Langley to Burnaby. It looks like this is the initial planning for an new SkyTrain line through to Langley from Burnaby. The bridge will be built with the capacity to have rail run over it in the future. This is a very smart and forward thinking thing to do as the cost of building a new rail transit crossing of the river would be very expensive.

There will also be dramatic improvements for cyclist that wish to use the Port Mann.

I like the idea that the bridge will be tolled, I am fan of this because it will bring home to people driving the real costs of the bridge. It also makes the marginal cost of driving alone higher and therefore makes car pooling and transit more attractive
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