New Westminster gets in the way – yet again

The Editor,

Re. “Bailey bridge closed Sunday for inspection” (The Tri-City News, Feb. 28).

Having recently relocated to Coquitlam after some 25 years at New Westminster Quay, I thought I would look at how New West has become an island as it digs a moat around itself to the detriment of regional transportation.

The frustration of the city of Coquitlam over the serial Band-Aids being put over the ruptured arterial bridge connecting its industry to an outlet at Braid is but one example. The hope offered by the United Boulevard extension also disappeared when New Westminster at first agreed to, then backed out of that arrangement and $65 million of federal funding went down the drain. Even when Coquitlam offered to pay the whole shot, New Westminster refused to let the replacement bridge go ahead.

New West is now scrambling to find another Bailey bridge when a solution offered by its own businesses to redirect traffic to Canfor was rejected.

Lest those to the north believe that they are being unduly targeted, let’s look south to Surrey.

The Pattullo Bridge, which once spawned the Golden Mile of New Westminster commerce, is so old that even the Port Mann Bridge has been built and replaced during its lifetime. If something isn’t done soon, all those heavy trucks will shake the structure so bad it will look like the foundations of the Braid Bailey bridge.

Surrey wants to see a six-lane bridge but New Westminster pleads that it will wreak havoc on its roads. The Royal City would be pleased to see the Pattullo bypass its regal territory and connect directly to Coquitlam, thus dumping the problems, once again, into a neighbouring jurisdiction.

All attempts to implement a regional solution have either been shut down or appealed to the provincial authority for dispute resolution when New West didn’t get what it wanted, all so local politicians, rather than make decisions, can point to solutions that have been “imposed.”


Edward Eddy, Coquitlam



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