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EDITORIAL: Where will new Pattullo go?
Suddenly, building a new bridge to link Surrey and Coquitlam makes even more sense.
This summer, the Pattullo Bridge was shut for several weekends for some much-needed repairs.
According to TransLink, those shutdowns were also a chance to get a better look at the bridge structure and how much work it actually needs in the near future.
Surprisingly, the estimate to repair the bridge has now ballooned from $150 million to $300 million.
(They might want to get their money back from the previous consultant)
One can read this new information two ways.
In one sense, it’s a strong argument in favour of getting started—as soon as possible—building the new, six-lane Pattullo (next to the old one) that Surrey residents so fervently support.
They might argue that building the bridge soon is a chance to direct that cash to a fancy new Mercedes, rather than pouring more cash into an aging lemon.
The other argument, one that New Westers are more likely to support, is to spend that $300 million to rehabilitate the Pattullo, and perhaps a little more to add the necessary pedestrian and bike routes, much like was done with the Lions Gate Bridge.
And concurrently, build a new six-lane bridge linking Surrey to Coquitlam that would get the South Fraser Perimeter Road truck traffic where it wants to go—Highway 1 and the northeast sector.
It’s a more expensive option, of course.
But it’s an option that a growing number of New West residents seem to support.
If we’re building this new bridge to serve us the next 100 years or so, it doesn’t make sense to plow six lanes into New West—a compact, dense, urban city.
And if done right, travellers on both sides of the river will win.