Bridge brouhaha brewing as cities hit road block over new Pattullo

New Westminster has dug in its heels against expanding the span, Surrey's transportation committee says.

Surrey and New Westminster are at odds over what to do with the aging Pattullo Bridge.

Surrey and New Westminster are at odds over what to do with the aging Pattullo Bridge.

A proposed expansion of the Pattullo Bridge has hit an axle-bending speed bump as New Westminster has postponed the second phase of public consultation on the project.

The 77-year-old Pattullo Bridge is in need of upgrades, for which TransLink has set aside $300 million.

However, officials with the transportation authority, which has responsibility for the Pattullo, are reluctant to spend heavily on repairs if a new bridge is in the offing.

Surrey’s transportation plan calls for a widening of the bridge to six lanes, which several councillors in the city say the public broadly supports. That would cost an estimated $1.6 billion.

Another option is a four-lane bridge, which would cost about $800 million.

However, New Westminster wants neither, committee members have said, adding the municipality has put off the second phase of TrasnLink’s public consultation on bridge expansion.

New West opposes the expansion – preferring instead to keep upgrading the aging span – because it will funnel greater volumes of traffic into its community.

“It’s unfortunate,” said committee member Coun. Barinder Rasode. “We’ve been in engaged in a process for many years on community consultation and exploring options. And our planning has always revolved around a six-lane Pattullo expansion.”

With both sides dug in, TransLink may have to go to the province to settle the matter.

“Right now, because it’s a TransLink bridge, it’s entrusted on TransLink to resolve the issues on both sides,” said Surrey’s General Manager of Engineering Vincent Lalonde.

Rasode said that by “nature of its geography” New Westminster is a transportation corridor and should accept a wider bridge.

Metro Vancouver, she said, has also supported a bridge expansion.

Surrey officials say that the best use of the dollars is to expand it, rather than continue to fix the span.

The $300 million for upgrades would have to be spent again in another 20 years or so.

A new span would last between 75 and 100 years, city staff say.

Calls to New Westminster Mayor Wayne Wright were not returned by The Leader’s press deadline.

City of Surrey staff are now trying to negotiate with New Westminster and TransLink to see if the discussion can move forward.

TransLink has winnowed 25 Pattullo Bridge replacement configurations down to six.

It aims to shortlist two or three preferred options this winter ahead of a final choice – if the cities of Surrey and New Westminster can unite behind one.

It’s assumed the new $1-billion-plus crossing would be paid for through tolls but no decision has been made on financing.

TransLink had been hoping a decision on the planned replacement would be made next year.

@diakiw

Just Posted

William Henry Rawlison was last seen on Sunday, June 20, 2021. (Contributed photo)
Police looking for missing White Rock senior

William Rawlison, last seen on June 20, may be driving to Kamloops

Natalie Brown and Colten Wilke star in the feature film Thunderbird, co-produced by South Surrey-raised Michael Morrison and released this month in Canada, the U.S and the U.K. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey-raised producer helps bring ‘Thunderbird’ to the screen

Michael Morrison guides B.C.-shot thriller with First Nations connection

File photo
Surrey Board of Trade vows ‘a lot of noise’ will be made about tax increases

Huberman calls for comprehensive tax review at all levels of government

2019 Red Serge Gala guests try their luck at roulette. (Simon Lau photo)
High hopes for in-person Red Serge Gala on Semiahmoo Peninsula

28th fundraiser for community safety programs set for Oct. 23 return

TEASER PHOTO ONLY - Hillcrest Drive-In's sign at the end its run in Surrey, in a photo uploaded to cinematreasures.org by hermangotlieb.
SURREY NOW & THEN: The city’s last drive-in, Hillcrest showed movies for 50 years on site turned shopping mall

‘It was a good memory, being the last drive-in in the Lower Mainland, at the time,’ says former operator Jay Daulat

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read