The province has promised to fund a temporary bridge between New Westminster and Coquitlam, but the mayor of New West says a catch on that deal will cause traffic jams.
Wayne Wright says the Ministry of Transportation had already given rights for the bridge to temporarily replace the Bailey bridge, so he was surprised to see the letter from minister Todd Stone today saying the deal was off unless New West put in a second single-lane bridge.
Wright, who has long asked for only one-lane because he argues traffic would increase with two, says he’s not sure what to expect next.
“We’re not afraid of not getting this bridge, okay? Maybe there’s no bridge. We may be even happier with no bridge, if that’s what they want.”
Transportation Minister Todd Stone says two lanes is safest.
“The bottle needs to be uncorked. This is a major, major bottle neck. Again, between 9,000 and 10,000 people who are moving through this corridor and over this alternating Bailey bridge every single day of the week.”
Stone says the government’s package is worth $2 million for the two loaner bridges, and $800,000 from Coquitlam for road work and analysis.
With this new wrinkle in the plan, Wright says it likely will be the New Year before traffic can cross from New West to Coquitlam.
The old Bailey bridge was deemed unsafe and shut down in February.