Canadian Consulting Engineer

Engineers designing repairs for Pattullo Bridge in Metro Vancouver

January 6, 2015  By CCE


Aerial view of the Pattullo Bridge (at centre) between New Westminster and Richmond in B.C.’s Lower Mainland. To the left is Skytrain LRT bridge, and to the right is a railway bridge. Photo: Translink.  (Caption corrected.)

Work is set to begin this spring on upgrading one of Metro Vancouver’s biggest and oldest bridges until a new crossing can be built..

The Pattullo Bridge was constructed in 1937 to span the Fraser River between New Westminster on the north, and Surrey on the south. The four-lane through-arch structure stretches 1,227 metres and carries approximately 67,000 cars and 3,400 trucks daily, but it has become congested and has also been accident prone, with several head-on collisions.

The region’s Mayors’ Council Transportation Vision has recommended that the bridge be replaced with a tolled four lane bridge that can expand to six lanes. However, since funding for a new structure is not yet secured, in December Translink authorized work to go ahead on rehabilitating the existing structure.

While the final design is still being finalized, Translink says the work will involve replacing the existing bridge bearings with special seismic bearings located between the girders and pile caps. Three pier columns and some existing bridge members will be strengthened, and the entire bridge deck will be rehabilitated.


Hatch Mott MacDonald along with GeoPentech, Cornerstone Planning Group, Collings Johnston and Hemmera are providing design/construction advisory services to TransLink on the rehabilitation.

The prime design consultant is Buckland & Taylor, working with McElhanney Consulting Services, Parsons Canada, MEG Consulting, Levelton Consultants, PBX Engineering, Northwest Hydraulics, Archer CRM Partnership and Armeni Consulting.

Once a traffic management plan has been agreed upon in consultation with the different municipalities involved, the repair work will begin and could take up to three years.

Meanwhile, the B.C. Government has formulated a referendum question on the subject of its transportation plans for the region. The ballots, which will begin going out in March, will ask people if they support a 0.5% congestion tax to pay for projects such as a new Pattullo Bridge, as well as light rail to Surrey and Langley.



Aerial view of the Pattullo Bridge (at centre) in Vancouver.  The bridge on the left is the SkyTrain LRT bridge, and to the right is an open train bridge.



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4 Comments » for Engineers designing repairs for Pattullo Bridge in Metro Vancouver
  1. Photo caption and last para. of story:
    That is NOT the Port Mann Bridge to the left. That’s the Skybridge, carrying the Skytrain LRT across the river. The Port Mann Bridge is some distance upstream, to the right of the photo.

  2. John Wood says:

    At the bottom of the article, the photo description states “Aerial view of the Pattullo Bridge (SkyTrain LRT bridge on the left, open train bridge on the right). To the left is the tolled Port Mann Bridge which opened in 2012.” The Port Mann Bridge is NOT in the photo.

  3. Michel Vander Noot says:

    Good morning,

    A quick remark on the photograph attached to your article related to the Patullo Bridge rework. The caption states that the cable stayed bridge to the left is the tolled Port Mann bridge, which is actually not the case. The latter is 6.5 km upstream of the Port Mann Bridge and not visible in the photograph (it is behind the photographer at approximately 07:00).

    The bridge in question is a cable stayed unit operated by Trans-Link but it carries the SkyTrain (our local rapid transit train) as opposed to vehicle traffic.


  4. Heather says:

    Hello, please correct the photo caption. The bridge to the left of the Patullo is actually the SkyBridge. It carries commuter trains for Translink.

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