Eve Lazarus photo
In one of those utterly cool moments The Richmond News reports that the historian of the North Vancouver Museum and Archives received a call that there was something that might be of interest in the Burnaby Hospice Thrift Store on Kingsway. That store had received a scale model of the Lions Gate Bridge which was six feet long. The model which was about 24 years old was for sale in the 200 dollar range, and had a unique feature~it was a twinned model of the bridge.
And it also had the initials of a great Canadian architect~Moshe Safdie. While the original bridge was opened in 1938, the 1990’s had brought discussions about how to repair the bridge. There was also discussion of a complete bridge replacement. It was the Squamish nation on lands on the north side of the bridge who advocated the twinning of the bridge and produced the model with Moshe Safdie of Habitat 67 and the downtown Vancouver library fame. Mr. Safdie had partnered with the engineering firm of SNC~Lavalin to produce schematics and a model.
The intent was to build an identical bridge to the east of the original bridge structure that would carry traffic in one direction, while the older bridge would carry vehicles in the other direction. The new bridge was to be tolled but unfortunately would have also required a wide swath of Stanley Park for pilings and footings.
The Province in the 1990’s chose the cheapest option to bridge renewal, widening the existing three lane bridge, and redoing the main bridge deck. Designated a National Historic Site in 2005, the bridge still remains one of the main ways to access North and West Vancouver. The Province chose the cheapest and least controversial option, electing to widen the three-lane existing bridge and replace the main bridge deck.
In 2005, the Lions Gate Bridge was designated a National Historic Site of Canada. Eve Lazarus’ blog contains a further description and photos of the proposed bridge twinning.
Don Coltman photo