The 80-year-old Pattullo Bridge has outlived its original design life by several decades and is vulnerable to a major earthquake, argues TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. (File photo)

LETTER: Aging Pattullo Bridge urgently needs to be replaced

As TransLink CEO, I can tell you our replacement bridge has been designed – and it’s ready to go.

The Editor,

Re: “Decades of troubled waters over Pattullo Bridge,” the Now-Leader, July 14.

Frank Bucholtz’s column about the Pattullo Bridge effectively makes the point that it urgently needs to be replaced. The 80-year-old bridge has outlived its original design life by several decades and is vulnerable to a major earthquake.

TransLink has designed a replacement bridge and it’s ready to go. The project has been endorsed by the Mayors’ Council and is now going through an environmental assessment. Later this year we are targeting to start the procurement process by issuing a Request for Qualifications.

Further, the new bridge concept has been endorsed by the city councils for both New Westminster and Surrey. It will increase capacity by 10 per cent and provide a safer crossing for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. It’s also been designed in a way that the bridge can be expanded to six lanes with the Mayors’ Council’s endorsement.

The Pattullo Bridge is a key transportation link for the region and has served commuters and trucks well for decades. However, the bridge will continue to deteriorate and there will come a point that it will no longer be safe to use.

We look forward to working with the new provincial government to hear their ideas on how funding can be secured so we can get on with building this much needed project as soon as possible.

Kevin Desmond, CEO of TransLink