The British Columbia government has awarded a contract for the replacement of the Pattullo Bridge in Metro Vancouver.
The $1.4-billion project will see a new four-lane bridge built with wider lanes connecting Surrey and New Westminster.
The expanded bridge will also include dedicated lanes for pedestrians and cyclists.
It will be built to potentially allow for the bridge to be expanded to six lanes.
Construction is slated to being this year with the new bridge scheduled to open in fall of 2023.
People in the Lower Mainland depend on the Pattullo Bridge every day, and they deserve safe, easy, toll-free commutes.
I'm proud we're getting it done in a way that benefits the local community with good jobs & training opportunities.https://t.co/8L4GVCWODD
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) February 10, 2020
Fraser Crossing Partners — consisting of a number of construction companies — has been awarded a $967.5 million contract to replace the bridge, with the remaining costs covering project management, financing, property acquisition and other project-related items.
The bridge is being built under a so-called community benefits agreement, which is aimed at boosting apprenticeship opportunities and hiring more women, Indigenous people and other under-represented workers.
“The current bridge has needed to be replaced for years, and I’m proud our government is getting it done in a way that benefits the local community with good jobs and training opportunities,” Premier John Horgan said in a statement. “This is all part of our work to keep people and goods moving as we build a strong, sustainable B.C.”
The Opposition Liberals have been critical of community benefits agreements, arguing that in the case of the Pattullo Bridge it will add $100 million to the cost of the project because a number of contractors are excluded from a bidding process that favours unionized candidates.
“Today, the NDP formally confirmed the awarded contract for the Pattullo Bridge replacement, which not only retains the width of the crossing at four lanes but comes with a seven per cent price increase in cost that will be paid for by B.C. taxpayers,” said Marvin Hunt, a Liberal member of the legislature for Surrey-Cloverdale.
The Surrey Board of Trade said the new bridge needs to be wider to cope with population growth in the region.
“It is not too late though to build and open the bridge in 2023 with six lanes,” Anita Huberman, CEO of the board of trade, said in a news release.
“We need to build transportation infrastructure for future population growth. By 2050, an additional 1.3 million people are expected to move into the Metro Vancouver region.”
The Canadian Press