New Westminster officials have asked the City of White Rock to support their call to rehabilitate the Pattullo bridge and build a new four-lane structure further upstream to link Surrey and Coquitlam.
In a presentation at the White Rock Community Centre last month, New Westminster Coun. Jaimie McEvoy told his seaside counterparts that the idea will be far better for his city than two options being supported by TransLink – a new Pattullo Bridge with either four or six lanes.
New West is already struggling with additional traffic since the tolled Port Mann bridge opened, and it simply cannot handle any more, he said.
“This has seriously affected the livability of New Westminster,” McEvoy said, citing an increase of about 75 per cent in truck traffic alone.
“There is simply no room within our narrow streets to accommodate additional traffic.”
The four- and six-lane Pattullo Bridge options were among six shortlisted last fall by a joint review team consisting of TransLink and the cities of New Westminster and Surrey.
McEvoy said statistics show New West generates 22,000 commuter-vehicle trips per day. Since the Port Mann tolls kicked in, that traffic has increased by more than 6,000 daily trips.
“We don’t have very many options in terms of trying to handle that traffic,” he said.
“I believe in freedom of movement… (but) we have back alleys that are clogged up.”
In response to questions from White Rock council members – who asked about tolls, banning trucks from the Pattullo and where responsibility lies for replacing needed infrastructure in New West if a six-lane bridge is built – McEvoy said he believes a better approach to regional planning is needed.
“If we had that better system, New Westminster wouldn’t have to go out pleading with other councils for support.”
White Rock council voted unanimously (with Coun. Al Campbell absent) to receive the information.