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Get Moving BC Press Release

Get Moving BC

For Immediate Release

November 19, 2008

 

 

GET MOVING BC CALLS FOR INFRASTRUCTURE ACCELERATION

 

 

Group calls on newly elected and re-elected mayors and councils

to support acceleration of transportation infrastructure projects in Greater Vancouver

 

Vancouver, B.C. - Get Moving BC is calling on all newly elected and re-elected Lower Mainland mayors and councillors to support an acceleration of transportation infrastructure projects in the Greater Vancouver region.

 

Get Moving BC spokesperson Jordan Bateman says the province's recent commitment to accelerate public investments in capital infrastructure projects - part of the province's 10 point plan to protect B.C. families and businesses from the world financial crisis and economic slowdown - provides a golden opportunity for the Lower Mainland to catch up on transportation infrastructure.

 

 

"The Pitt River Bridge, the Canada Line, and the Golden Ears Bridge projects are all moving towards completion, and the Port Mann/Highway 1 project is getting underway," says Bateman. "These projects are a great beginning, but we're still going to be behind even with these, and that's why we always need to be looking ahead to what our next transportation projects are going to be and not leave generational gaps between projects like past governments have done."

 

A study released by Get Moving BC in September showed that the Lower Mainland lags behind other western Canadian cities when it comes to bridges. The study also predicts "total gridlock" in the Lower Mainland if steps are not taken to correct the bridge infrastructure gap - especially in light of the rapidly expanding population south of the Fraser River.

 

Get Moving BC points to the fact that, except for the single lane added to the Port Mann Bridge in 2001 and the recent Pitt River and Golden Ears bridge projects, the last major expansion of bridge infrastructure in the Lower Mainland was the six-lane Alex Fraser Bridge which opened 22 years ago in 1986. In 1986, the Greater Vancouver Regional District had a population of 1,443,019. Metro Vancouver now has an estimated population of 2,293,438 people - a 60 percent increase in just 22 years.

 

"Now that we have this opportunity we need to encourage the government to accelerate projects like the Evergreen Line and the Pattullo Bridge replacement," Bateman says. "We're calling on all Lower Mainland mayors and councillors to get on board and support these projects so we can get caught up before we reach ‘total gridlock."

 

A copy of Get Moving BC's study, "Bridging the Infrastructure Gap," is available on the "Resources" page of Get Moving BC's website at www.GetMovingBC.com or by clicking on the following link: BRIDGING THE INFRASTRUCTURE GAP. The study includes graphs, charts and a four page Executive Summary.

 

A backgrounder outlining some of the key facts uncovered by Get Moving BC's study is also appended to the end of this media release.

 

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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  
 
Online References and Attachments:

Backgrounder:

 

Some key facts uncovered by Get Moving BC’s study:

    • The Calgary area (population 1.1 million) has nineteen bridges and seventy-five bridge lanes crossing the Bow River: i.e., 170% more bridges and 140% more bridge lanes than there are crossing the Fraser River. 

     

    • The Edmonton area (population 1.1 million) has eleven bridges and forty-two vehicle lanes crossing the North Saskatchewan River: i.e., 60% more bridges and 35% more bridge lanes than the Vancouver area has crossing the Fraser River.
    • The Winnipeg area (population 720,000) has ten bridges and forty vehicle lanes crossing the Red River: i.e., 43% more bridges and 31% more bridge lanes crossing the Red River than there are crossing the Fraser River.

     

    • The Portland area (population 1.6 million) has eleven bridges and fifty-four bridge lanes crossing the Willamette River: i.e., 60% more bridges and 75% more bridge lanes crossing the Willamette River than there are crossing the Fraser River.
    • The Saskatoon area (population 240,000) has five bridges and twenty-two traffic lanes crossing the South Saskatchewan River.  Vancouver would need to have 50 bridges and 220 bridge lanes crossing the Fraser River just to match Saskatoon’s per capita bridge and bridge lane capacity: that’s six to seven times more than we have today

 

Get Moving BC’s study also revealed that these other cities will continue to outpace the Vancouver area when it comes to bridge infrastructure because new bridges continue to be built in these other cities:

    • In Edmonton, the six-lane Quesnell Bridge – which currently carries as many as 120,000 vehicles per weekday – is being widened to eight lanes.
    • In Calgary they are about to build a new four-lane bridge across the Bow River to be located north of – and parallel to – the existing four-lane Graves Bridge. Calgary also recently twinned the two-lane Marquis of Lorne Bridge to four lanes.

     

    • In Saskatoon, they recently widened the Circle Drive Bridge from four lanes to six lanes.  The Province of Saskatchewan also announced funding in June for the construction of a new six-lane bridge south of the city.
    • In Portland they are well underway with a process to replace the obsolete six-lane Interstate Bridge on I-5 with a new ten to twelve-lane bridge across the Columbia River – a new bridge that will dwarf the twinned Port Mann Bridge.