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Woman goes into labour at opening party on Golden Ears Bridge

So many people thronged onto the six-lanes of Vancouver's latest bridge when it opened to the public on June 14, sh...


Golden Ears Bridge, artist's impression
Golden Ears Bridge, artist's impression

So many people thronged onto the six-lanes of Vancouver’s latest bridge when it opened to the public on June 14, shuttle buses had to be suspended twice to stop more pouring onto the crossing. 

The $800-million Golden Ears Bridge links Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to Langley and Surrey, B.C.  One kilometre long, the crossing was designed by Buckland & Taylor as the longest extradosed cable-stayed bridge in North America.

Tens of thousands of people attended the “Party on the Deck.” There were two stages, with entertainment by performers such as blues singer Murray Porter,  the Shan-e-Punjab bhangra dancers, and the Famous Circle Break Dance Crew. “I Made History” activities included “I danced on the Golden Ears Bridge,” and “I Played Hopscotch on the Golden Ears Bridge.”

Not everyone was celebrating the party though.  With hot weather and the overcrowding, at least a dozen people fainted, one man had a heart attack and a woman went into labour.

The bridge is owned by TransLink, but it has a 35+ year agreement with the Golden Crossing General Partnership to finance, design, build and maintain it. The partnership is owned by Bilfinger Berger (Canada) Inc. and CH2M Hill.  After a month’s free ride, users will have to pay tolls to make the crossing.

Associated Engineering developed the conceptual design for the bridge and associated roadworks, and assisted Translink with implementing the project.

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell, who was part of the ribbon cutting ceremony, said: “The Golden Ears Bridge is an integral part of a coordinated plan to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion in the Lower Mainland.  Together with a new Pitt River Bridge and new Port Mann Bridge, we will be better able to move goods, services and people through the region.”