From the Vancouver Sun:

The number of drivers taking the tolled Port Mann Bridge steadily declined last year, as the Crown corporation’s debt continues to swell to a projected $3.61 billion this year.
That’s almost half the capital costs of all the projects proposed by the Mayors – everything from a Broadway subway to a new Pattullo Bridge.
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Not to worry. “Government insists it will pick up this year”
Considering traffic volumes, economic and population factors, including a million people coming to the region in the next twenty years, TI Corp. estimates long-term traffic growth on the Port Mann Bridge will grow at a rate of approximately 2.5 per year. It’s also counting on drivers tiring of long commutes to take alternate bridges, and coming back to the Port Mann.
However …
The corporation has said it won’t increase tolls beyond the rate of inflation, and no more than two per cent, but NDP MLA Trevena said she doesn’t believe it can pay down the debt unless there is a spike in traffic, or it raises tolls.
I wondered if in the comments to the story, Sun readers would be indicting TI Corp and the provincial government for their incompetence and mismanagement, calling for accountability, if not resignations.  Imagine my complete lack of surprise to find nothing of the sort; that’s reserved for transit agencies.  TI Corp will likely go on to finance the Massey Bridge.
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BTW, do you know who was leading ‘grass-roots’ promotion for the Port Mann Bridge?   It was Get Moving BC , putting out releases like “Get Moving BC renews call to accelerate Port Mann Twinning.”
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And who was behind Get Moving BC?
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This chap:
Bateman
 Langley City Councillor Jordan Bateman, 2008

Comments

  1. MetroVan is an export / import hub .. Over 30 ports in MetroVan. As such road, rail and pipeline infrastructure is vital for a prosperous economy.

    The bridge unfortunately did not include a rail line to the Fraser Valley, a vital link that is now missing. A grave mistake.

    1. It’s extremely difficult to add a rail line to this type of bridge because of the grades involved in order to provide clearance for ships that must pass underneath it combined with the need to avoid swing or lift spans which would impede vehicular traffic. It’s cheaper just to build a separate low level rail bridge.

      1. Would it have been so different than than the skytrain bridge to Surrey? That one works pretty well, without need of a swing or lift.

        1. Exactly. Or perhaps repurpose the old Port Mann bridge, rather than dismantling it. Did someone look at that ?

        2. Skytrain is capable of climbing a 6% grade, whereas heavy rail usually maxes out at about 2%. That necessitates longer approaches, which means you’d essentially have to build a bridge about 3 times as long. And heavy rail bridges need to be much, much stronger than Skybridge, which multiplies the costs yet again.

          Skytrain is called “light rail” for a reason (the original name, ALRT, means “Advanced Light Rapid Transit). Attempts to compare it to the infrastructure requirements of heavy rail are misguided.

          The old Port Mann bridge can’t be used for the same reasons – even if its grades were acceptable there’s no way short of a fairly extensive tunneling project to get the rail line from where the south end of the bridge lands down to the level of the other rail corridors on that side.

  2. And Bill Tieleman is supporting the new Congestion Tax. Yet he fought against the HST along with Derek Corrigan who is now fighting against the Congestion Tax. I wonder what Bill Van der Zalm thinks. Let’s ask Tieleman, or Corrigan if they’ve spoken to him.

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