This morning’s opening of the $800-million Golden Ears Bridge linking Maple Ridge and Langley spells the end of the Albion Ferry that has plied the waters of the Fraser River for the past 52 years.
The Kulleet and Klatawa will sail for the last time at noon on July 31 with at least three people who took part in the inaugural sailing in 1957.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see water in my eyes,” said Capt. Dave Miller, president and CEO of TransLink’s subsidiary Fraser River Marine Transportation.
Miller, 59, has worked at the ferry for the past 19 years, and plans to retire after it closes.
He expects people will miss the ferry once it’s gone, but excitement about the new bridge is high.
An opening celebration Sunday on the kilometre-long span attracted more than 50,000 people.
“It joins families together,” TransLink chair Dale Parker said following a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday. “It’s just a natural for these communities.”
The tolled bridge is expected to chop 40 minutes from a daily north-south commute and will be free to drive for the first month.