February 12, 2007

Governments break ground on Pitt River bridge project in B.C.

Vancouver, British Columbia – The governments of Canada and British Columbia have agreed to cost-share construction of a new seven-lane bridge across the Pitt River, which will replace two existing swing bridges. The federal government will provide $90 million in funding for the bridge’s construction and a new grade-separated interchange at Lougheed Highway and Mary Hill Bypass, while the provincial government will contribute $108 million.

“The ability to move goods quickly and efficiently through the Lower Mainland and into the markets across Canada and the United States is very important to importers and exporters,” says David Emerson, Federal Minister of International Trade, and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and Vancouver-Whistler Olympics. “This new bridge is the first of many Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor projects that will help our local communities, as well as contribute to Canada’s trade competitiveness.”

Traffic over the existing swing bridges has tripled since 1985; the new cable-stayed bridge design will significantly reduce traffic congestion and delays, as well as reducing interference with marine traffic. With fewer piers in the river, the new bridge will also reduce effects on the environment and marine users. Work will begin immediately and is expected to be completed by November 2009.

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