June 27, 2012
Port Mann Bridge centre span now complete
Construction crews have installed the final concrete deck sections to complete the centre span of the new Port Mann Bridge.
The largest transportation infrastructure project in B.C.'s history will span the Fraser River, linking Surrey and Coquitlam.
“Today we are here to celebrate and it’s a great day,” said B.C. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Blair Lekstrom.
“When you look at this structure, it is truly a marvel. It’s the widest bridge in the world. It is the second longest cable stayed bridge in North America. The work that you see going on each and every day never ceases to amaze me.”
The final gap in the deck was closed on June 21, which completes the superstructure required to open the bridge to traffic this December.
Lekstrom was one of the first to cross the new connection, when he walked from the Coquitlam side of the bridge to Surrey over the newly placed steel girders and concrete deck panels.
The girders that closed the centre span were lifted and fixed in place earlier last week.
The concrete deck panels were lowered into position using gantry cranes.
The work completes the bridge’s initial eight-lane configuration.
“What is left is finalizing the deck placing, putting the grout on, placing expansion joints between bridge segments, waterproofing and paving the new bridge deck to have it ready to be opened later this year,” said Mike Proudfoot, Transportation Investment Corporation CEO.
The Surrey approach to the bridge is already being paved, as it was completed in April.
The final segments for the Coquitlam approach were placed last week.
Decommissioning of the old bridge is scheduled for 2014.
“As far as the decommissioning goes, once the new bridge is open to eight lanes, to expand to 10 lanes requires the decommissioning of the approaches to the existing bridge. So, that work will proceed first and then the widening of the new bridge, and then the full dismantling of the old bridge,” said Proudfoot.
“So the plans, the strategies and the engineering are currently under design and that work will proceed at the earliest opportunity.”
Decommissioning the approaches to the old bridge will start next year.
“The plans for decommissioning are being developed and will come out later this summer,” he said.
“The focus right now is on what we are doing here right now. Once that is done, our resources and our efforts will shift to the decommissioning.”
The old bridge will be dismantled and removed as part of Kiewit’s fixed-price contract for the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project.
Peter Kiewit Sons Co. and Flatiron Constructors Canada Limited were awarded a $2.46 billion fixed-price contract by the B.C. government to design and build the new bridge and to widen Highway 1 for 37 kilometres on the east and west sides of the Fraser River.
The $2.46 million figure is for the entire bridge and highway expansion project and the government has not released a specific number within the contract for bridge construction.
The final construction costs or the final package for this project is $3.3 billion dollars, which includes financing, operating, maintenance and rehabilitation costs.
The provincial government is financing $1.15 billion of the project in the form of a repayable loan.
Electronic tolls will pay for the project.
The tolling framework is scheduled to be released in the next few months.
In addition to a new 10-lane bridge, the project includes highway-widening from Vancouver to Langley.
The project also includes rebuilding seven highway overpasses as well as nine highway interchanges. For more pictures of the Port Mann Bridge centre span event on June 21, check out our photo gallery.
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