It’s one more step, in a series of many, to fixing Pattullo Bridge: a memorandum of understanding pledging to toll the new one.
New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote says his city, Surrey and TransLink signed the document yesterday.
“It’s going to allow us to move forward with the replacement of the Pattullo Bridge. As part of that agreement, the primary funding source for the new bridge will be tolling.”
As for how much that toll will be?
Cote says that is still to be determined.
“I’m hoping it actually leads to a larger conversation in that, is there a more equitable way to deal with tolling and road pricing in the entire Metro Vancouver region?”
The busy bridge sees anywhere between sixty to eighty thousand trips a day.
TransLink hopes to start the project by 2017.
What does the B.C. Trucking Association think?
B.C. Trucking Association president Louise Yako expects traffic congestion to get worse.
Yako says that truck drivers often take alternate routes along untolled bridges to avoid paying, making their trips longer and subjecting them to heavy traffic flow.
“There has been a shift in traffic to the Patullo and to the Alex Fraser, and that problem is only going to become greater once we only have one untolled alternative.”