Port Mann Bridge starts
By Richard High12 February 2009
Premier Gordon Campbell and Kevin Falcon, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, have officially launched construction of the new, 10 lane, cable-stayed Port Mann Bridge over the Fraser River, British Columbia, Canada with the symbolic driving of the first foundation pile.
The ceremony follows the release of detailed design changes to the bridge in January this year. The new bridge will now have 10-lanes and replace the existing crossing instead of standing alongside it.
Until the announcement, it was thought a new bridge would be built alongside the original 45-year-old bridge.
Connect BC Development Group, which has been chosen to deliver the project under a public-private partnership, now believes that it would be cheaper in the long term to build a single replacement bridge.
Connect BC includes the Macquarie Group, Transtoll, Peter Kiewit Sons and Flatiron Constructors Canada. The government reached an agreement-in-principle with Conncect BC in January and financial close is expected in early March.
The new bridge will reduce travel times by up to -30% due to reduced congestion, and will provide for the first bus service across the Port Mann bridge in over 20 years.
The capital cost of the project including highway upgrades is approximately CA$ 2.5 billion (US$ 2 billion).
British Columbia will provide about 30% of the financing. All costs will be recovered by electronic tolls. Final terms and conditions are expected to be settled in March with completion scheduled for a 2013.