COQUITLAM - The first week of tolling will be free to families and commuters when the new Port Mann Bridge officially opens in December. Transportation Minister Mary Polak made the announcement today at a worker appreciation barbeque that celebrated the Port Mann Bridge's official inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's widest bridge.
The toll-free period will give all drivers - commuters, truckers, families - a chance to use the bridge for free and experience first-hand the time-saving benefits provided by the world's widest bridge.
The event was also an opportunity to confirm the Port Mann Bridge's official entry into the Guinness Book of World Records as the widest bridge in the world. The previous Guinness World Record was held by the 48.8 metre-wide Sydney Harbour Bridge. At 65.06 metres wide, the Port Mann Bridge beats the previous record by 16.26 metres.
Once completed, the new Port Mann Bridge will eliminate the worst traffic bottleneck in British Columbia, reducing commute times by up to 50 per cent and giving drivers as much as an hour per day to spend with their families, friends and other important activities.
Opening the new bridge to traffic in December will complete the first and largest phase of the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project, which also includes highway widening and the rebuilding of three interchanges between 160 St. in Surrey and Cape Horn in Coquitlam.
While the bridge will not open to eight-lane capacity until December, drivers will get an advance look at the new crossing starting Sept. 18. Three Highway 1 eastbound lanes will be transitioned to the new crossing at that time as part of construction staging to give crews the space required to continue work on the bridge approaches.
This is the largest transportation project in B.C. history, and government is delivering on its promise to reduce congestion and save time for commuters and families using the province's busiest transportation corridor.
Workers at the event were congratulated and thanked for their contribution to the project. In addition to the world's widest bridge, the Port Mann/Highway 1 Project includes 37 kilometres of highway widening, 30 kilometres of new HOV lanes and the rebuilding of seven highway overpasses and nine highway interchanges.
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Mary Polak -
"It's official; the new Port Mann Bridge is the widest bridge in the world, and it wouldn't be possible without the many men and women who have been working on it day and night for the past four years."
"The widest bridge in the world and all associated improvements to Highway 1 will reduce commute times by up to 50 per cent and save drivers as much as an hour to spend with their family and friends or at other activities."
"The new Port Mann Bridge will be free to use for the first week. This toll-free period will allow drivers to experience the time-saving benefits of the world's widest bridge first-hand and at no cost."
Bill Murphy, project director, Kiewit/Flatiron -
"The new Port Mann Bridge is an engineering marvel that wouldn't exist without the thousands of men and women who worked on it, day and night. I'm proud to have been a part of this bridge, and I'm sure every single worker would say the same. I congratulate you on your professionalism, dedication and hard work. Take pride in this new landmark."
Guinness World Records -
"The widest bridge in the world is the Port Mann Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge that crosses the Fraser River between Coquitlam and Surrey in British Columbia, Canada. The main 470-metre-long span between the cable towers has a width of 65.060 metres, although the bridge reaches a maximum width of 65.231 metres at each of the towers."
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