With massive winds expected this weekend, questions are being raised over just how the Pattullo Bridge can expect to hold up, given that TransLink has been told it “may be vulnerable in terms of withstanding a seismic or high wind event.”
TransLink says in a statement to CKNW that the “current storm events are typical for this region and have been experienced many times before in the lifespan of the bridge.”
But in a recent “Pattullo Bridge Condition Monitoring Report” which was presented to TransLink’s board of directors said the structure “was not designed to meet current wind and seismic loading standards.”
TransLink says it will be “closely monitoring the storm warning and wind speeds” as meteorologists say Saturday to Saturday night could see winds reaching up to 100 km/h
However for now it says “there are no safety concerns.”
Not good enough
TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond told CKNW’s Steele and Drex that the bridge has withstood far more intense storms than the ones predicted this weekend.
“So motorists and the public should not worry about the Pattullo Bridge with this storm.”
But New Westminster Councillor Chuck Puchmayr has described that response from TransLink as little more than ‘it hasn’t blown over before’ so it should be safe.
But Puchmayr says the question of whether the bridge should be closed is a difficult one.
“The bridge closure will create absolute havoc in the region, but safety is paramount.”
The Pattullo structure is almost 80-years -old.