Get Moving BC
For Immediate Release
February 4, 2009

  

GET MOVING BC APPLAUDS PORT MANN BRIDGE PLAN

 

Vancouver, B.C. - Get Moving BC is applauding the plan to completely replace the 45-year old Port Mann Bridge with an entirely new 10-lane bridge at a cost of about $2.46 billion.  The plan was unveiled in Surrey this afternoon by Premier Gordon Campbell and Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon

Get Moving BC spokesperson Michael McBratney says the announcement is "great news" and that it confirms several months of hopeful speculation that the bridge might be completely replaced instead of just being twinned.

"Completely replacing the bridge is definitely superior to adding a twin, and it's worth the investment," McBratney says. "The new bridge is going to provide us with the kind of bridge we really need in that location and it's going to eliminate the worst, most costly traffic bottleneck in the Lower Mainland."

McBratney adds that traffic congestion currently costs the people and businesses of the Lower Mainland over $1.5 billion per year and that we're paying for that $1.5 billion in added costs in the price of our milk, our cheese, our bread and butter and our housing: "I'd rather see that $1.5 billion dollars go toward building the new transportation infrastructure we need instead of seeing it wasted every year on traffic congestion costs."   

McBratney says he's also pleased that the project is going to create more than 8,000 construction jobs, something that will really help the B.C. economy over the next several years.

"We're in much better shape here in B.C. to weather the world economic crisis than most people are, and keeping 8,000 or more B.C. people working, which the Port Mann Bridge project is going to do, is going to help us stay in that position of strength," McBratney says.  "Those 8,000 high-paying construction jobs will have a huge positive ripple through the B.C. economy and that's going help us ease our way through this time of worldwide economic crisis."  

McBratney says he is also encouraged to hear that NDP leader Carole James came out in support of the Port Mann Bridge project on the Bill Good Show this morning.  When asked by Good if the Port Mann Bridge project would still go ahead if she were elected Premier, James stated: "Yes, the bridge has to be built..."

McBratney is also confident that the P3 approach to building and maintaining the new Port Mann Bridge is the way to go because the P3 model has proven itself over and over again in B.C. in recent years.

"There are over twenty-five P3 projects in B.C. that have either been completed or are under construction," McBratney says. "The Canada Line, the Kicking Horse Canyon Bridge, the Sea-to-Sky Highway and the Bennett Bridge in Kelowna have all come in on time or ahead of schedule and they've all been on budget or under budget.  The $3.3 billion cost over the term of the bridge contract gives B.C. taxpayers the kind of certainty they need and deserve."   

In addition to accommodating vehicle traffic, the new 10-lane Port Mann Bridge will also accommodate Rapid Bus service and safely allow for cyclist and pedestrian use.  The new Port Mann Bridge will also be built strong enough to easily accommodate Rapid Transit in the future without costly upgrades.

 

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Get Moving BC is dedicated to holding governments accountable for a balanced transportation system and was formed to provide a voice for the majority of Greater Vancouver residents who support improving our roads, bridges and transit systems.    

 
For more information please contact Get Moving BC at 604-678-5567 or by email at info@getmovingbc.com  
 
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