Port Mann Bridge

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Port Mann Bridge (2012)
The New Port Mann Bridge2.jpg
Carries Ten lanes of British Columbia Highway 1
Crosses Fraser River
Locale Coquitlam
Surrey
Maintained by Transportation Investment Corporation (TI Corp)
Design Cable-stayed bridge
Total length 2,020 metres (6,630 ft)
Width 65 metres (213 ft)
Height 163 metres (535 ft)
Longest span 470 metres (1,540 ft)
Clearance below 42 metres (138 ft)
Construction begin 2009
Opened September 18, 2012
Preceded by Port Mann Bridge (1964)
Coordinates 49°13′16″N 122°48′46″W / 49.221031°N 122.812697°W / 49.221031; -122.812697 (Port Mann Bridge)Coordinates: 49°13′16″N 122°48′46″W / 49.221031°N 122.812697°W / 49.221031; -122.812697 (Port Mann Bridge)
References: [1]
Port Mann Bridge (1964)
Port Mann Bridge.jpg
Carries Five lanes of British Columbia Highway 1
Crosses Fraser River
Locale Coquitlam
Surrey
Maintained by British Columbia Ministry of Transportation
Designer CBA Engineering
Design Tied-arch bridge
Total length 2093 m
Longest span 366 m
Construction begin 1957
Opened June 12, 1964
Followed by Port Mann Bridge (second, 2012)
Closed November 17, 2012

The Port Mann Bridge is a 10-lane cable-stayed bridge that opened to traffic in 2012. It is currently the second longest cable-stayed bridge in North America and was the widest bridge in the world until the opening of the new Bay Bridge in California.[2][3][4] The new bridge replaced a steel arch bridge that spanned the Fraser River, connecting Coquitlam to Surrey in British Columbia near Vancouver. The old bridge consisted of three spans with an orthotropic deck carrying five lanes of Trans-Canada Highway traffic, with approach spans of three steel plate girders and concrete deck. The total length of the previous Port Mann was 2,093 m (6,867 ft), including approach spans. The main span was 366 m (1,201 ft), plus the two 110 m (360 ft) spans on either side.[5] Volume on the old bridge was 127,000 trips per day.[6] Approximately 8 percent of the traffic on the Port Mann bridge was truck traffic.[7] The previous bridge was the longest arch bridge in Canada and third-longest in the world at the moment of inauguration.

History[edit]

The old Port Mann Bridge opened on June 12, 1964, originally carrying four lanes. It was named after the community of Port Mann, through which the south end of the bridge passed.[8] At the time of construction, it was the most expensive piece of highway in Canada. The first "civilian" to drive across the bridge was CKNW reporter Marke Raines. He was not authorized to cross, so he drove quickly.[9] In 2001 an eastbound HOV lane was added by moving the centre divider and by cantilevering the bridge deck outwards in conjunction with a seismic upgrade.[10]

Replacement[edit]

Port Mann Bridge is located in Vancouver
Port Mann Bridge
Location in Metro Vancouver
The old Port Mann bridge with its replacement rising beside it

On January 31, 2006, the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation introduced the Gateway Program as a means to address growing congestion.[11] The project originally envisioned twinning the Port Mann Bridge by building a second bridge adjacent to it,[11] but the project was changed to building a 10-lane replacement bridge, planned to be the widest in the world, and demolishing the original bridge.

The Port Mann / Highway 1 project added another HOV lane and will provide cycling access. Bicycle lanes had still not been installed as of June 8, 2013. A bus service was reintroduced over the Port Mann Bridge for the first time in over 20 years. However, critics claimed that the new bridge only delayed the reintroduction of bus service on the bridge.[12][13] The new bus rapid transit service is now operated in the HOV lanes along Highway 1 from Langley to Burnaby.[14]

The estimated construction cost was $2.46 billion, including the cost of the Highway 1 upgrade, a total of 37 km. The total cost, including operation and maintenance, was expected to be $3.3 billion. Now that the new bridge is completed, the existing bridge, more than 45 years old, will be taken down.[15]

The project was intended to be funded by using a public-private partnership, and Connect B.C. Development Group was chosen as the preferred developer. The Connect B.C. Group included the Macquarie Group, Transtoll Inc., Peter Kiewit Sons Co., and Flatiron Constructors.[16] Although a memorandum of understanding had been signed by the province, final terms could not be agreed upon. As a consequence, the province decided to fund the entire cost of replacement.[17]

The new bridge is 2.02 km long, 65 m wide carrying 10 lanes, and has a 42 m clearance above the river's high water level (the same length and clearance as the old bridge). The towers are approximately 75 m tall above deck level, with the total height approximately 163 m from top of footing. The main span (between the towers) is 470 metres long, the second longest cable-stayed span in the western hemisphere. The main bridge (between the end of the cables) has a length of 850 metres with two towers and 288 cables. In addition to the 10 traffic lanes, the new bridge was built to accommodate the future installation of a light rapid transit line underneath the main deck.[15]

On September 18, 2012, the new Port Mann Bridge opened to eastbound traffic. At 65 metres wide, it is the world's widest long-span bridge, according to the Guinness World Records,[18] overtaking the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, which, at 49 metres, held the record since 1932.

Opposition to twinning plan[edit]

A number of groups lobbied to improve public transit rather than build a new bridge. Burnaby city council, Vancouver city council, and directors of the GVRD (now Metro Vancouver) passed resolutions opposing the Port Mann / Highway 1 expansion.[19][20] Opponents of the expansion included local environmental groups, urban planners,[21] and Washington State's Sightline Institute.[22]

Opponents argued that increasing highway capacity would increase greenhouse gas emissions and only relieve congestion for a few years before increased traffic congested the area again,[23] and that expanding road capacity would encourage suburban sprawl. The Livable Region Coalition urged the Minister of Transportation, Kevin Falcon, to consider rapid transit lines and improved bus routes instead of building the new bridge.[24] The David Suzuki Foundation claimed the plan violated the goals of Metro Vancouver's Livable Region Strategic Plan.[25]

Issues[edit]

On February 10, 2012, during construction of the replacement bridge, a crane collapsed, causing a 90-tonne concrete section of bridge decking to drop into the water below. While no one was injured, the accident delayed subsequent construction.[26] WorkSafe BC inspectors evaluated the safety practices on the construction site.

On December 19, 2012, cold weather caused ice to accumulate on the supporting cables, periodically dropping to the car deck below.[27] ICBC, the vehicle insurance entity in British Columbia, reported 60 separate claims of ice damage during the incident. In addition, one driver required an ambulance due to injuries. The RCMP closed the bridge between 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. while engineers investigated.[28]

Tolling[edit]

In order to recover construction and operating costs, the bridge is electronically tolled. The toll rates are $3 for a car, $1.50 for a motorcycle, $6 for a small truck, and $9 for a large truck. These values will rise with inflation, but the increase will be capped at 2.5% annually. These fees will be collected electronically by photographing licence plates, and locals who do not pay will not be able to renew their driver's licence or car insurance until the bill is settled. Out-of-province drivers will also be contacted for payment by a US-based contractor.[29] A licence plate processing fee of $2.30 per trip will be added to the toll rate for unregistered users who do not pay their toll online within seven days of their passage.[30] Monthly passes, which allow unlimited crossing on the bridge, are available for purchase.[31] Users may also set up an online account for easy payment by charging a credit card or bank account when they cross the bridge.[32] Users who opt for this method receive a decal with an embedded RFID to place on their vehicle's windshield or headlight and avoid paying a processing fee.[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Facts & Trivia". Pmh1project.com. Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/6000/widest-bridge
  3. ^ "Port Mann Improvement". BC Government. Retrieved December 29, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Port Mann Bridge sets Guinness record". CTV News. Retrieved December 29, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Port mann bridge". Buckland & Taylor Ltd. Retrieved February 10, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Gateway Program Definition Report" (PDF). Ministry of Transportation of British Columbia. January 31, 2005. Retrieved February 11, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Travel Characteristics of Traffic on the Highway 1 Corridor" (PDF). Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority. July 2, 2004. Retrieved January 1, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Surrey Archives". Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  9. ^ Davis, Chuck. "1964 Chronology". The History of Metropolitan Vancouver. Retrieved February 10, 2007. 
  10. ^ http://www.kwhconstructors.com/brochures/KWH%20-%20Port%20Mann%20Bridge%20Widening%20-%20Construction%20-%202000.pdf
  11. ^ a b "Gateway Program Definition Report" (PDF). Ministry of Transportation of British Columbia. January 31, 2005. Retrieved February 11, 2007. 
  12. ^ Doherty, Eric. "Taken for a Ride: Technical and Media Manipulation in the Gateway Program's response to Transportation for a Sustainable Region: Transit or Freeway Expansion". Livable Region Coalition. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  13. ^ Gillis, Damien. "Rapid Bus on Port Mann Bridge Now". Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Port Mann Bridge to have high speed bus service". CBC. October 5, 2007. Retrieved February 18, 2009. 
  15. ^ a b "Single 10-lane bridge to replace Port Mann". CBC. February 4, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2009. 
  16. ^ Agreement in Principle Reached for Port Mann Project - Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
  17. ^ "Province to foot entire cost of new Port Mann Bridge". CBC. February 27, 2009. Retrieved March 1, 2009. 
  18. ^ "Port Mann Bridge sets Guinness record". CTV News. Retrieved September 20, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Burnaby Public Consultation on Provincial Gateway Program" (PDF). City of Burnaby. Retrieved February 11, 2007. [dead link]
  20. ^ "Standing Committee Minutes" (PDF). City of Vancouver. Retrieved February 11, 2007. 
  21. ^ Ward, Doug (June 20, 2006). "Planners oppose Gateway Program". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved February 11, 2007. 
  22. ^ "B.C. gets top marks". North Shore Outlook. June 14, 2007. Retrieved June 15, 2007. 
  23. ^ "Gateway project will fail, planning prof warns". Steven Rees. October 2004. Retrieved June 15, 2007. 
  24. ^ "Questions about the B.C. Government's Port Mann and Highway 1 proposal for the Vancouver Region" (PDF). The Livable Region Coalition. October 2004. Retrieved February 11, 2007. 
  25. ^ "Proposed twinning of the Port Mann Bridge and Highway 1 expansion" (PDF). David Suzuki Foundation. Retrieved February 11, 2007. [dead link]
  26. ^ Evan Duggan (February 10, 2012). "Crane collapses on new Port Mann, drops 90 tonnes of concrete into water". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  27. ^ IAN AUSTIN AND STEPHANIE IP (February 19, 2012). "Port Mann Bridge fix sought after 'ice bombs' shatter windshields". The Province. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  28. ^ "RAW: Port Mann closed after injuries". CBC BC News. February 19, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  29. ^ Kelly Sinoski (February 10, 2012). "Errant U.S. drivers to be tracked in B.C.". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  30. ^ "TReO › Ways to save". Treo.ca. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  31. ^ "TReO › Ways to save". Treo.ca. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  32. ^ "TReO › Register Your Vehicle". Account.treo.ca. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  33. ^ "TReO › Vehicle Decals". Treo.ca. Retrieved December 21, 2012.