The fire-damaged Pattullo Bridge will reopen in time for Monday morning’s rush-hour commute – three weeks ahead of TransLink’s initial speculation and a week ahead of its most recent estimate.
The repaired Pattullo, which handles 80,000 vehicle trips daily, is expected to open at 6 a.m. and significantly ease the commuter congestion on SkyTrain as well as the Port Mann and Alex Fraser bridges.
“Taking advantage of some very good weather conditions, we have been able to accelerate the entire process of replacing the section of the bridge that was damaged,” said TransLink CEO Tom Prendergast in a release yesterday.
The bridge closed Jan. 18 after an early morning fire damaged an 18-metre wooden trestle on the Surrey side of the bridge. TransLink initially estimated it would take between a month and six weeks to replace the trestle. The fire was caused by people living beneath the bridge, RCMP said.
On Tuesday, TransLink announced that it had located a steel-and-concrete span that had been used during the Canada Line excavation on Cambie Street. At that time, TransLink estimated that replacing the wooden trestle would take two weeks.
Prendergast said finding the Canada Line span was the key to the speedy repair, because it eliminated the need to fabricate and assemble a new span.
The damaged section was demolished early last week. Piledriving began Thursday and the replacement span was installed Saturday. The replacement span should last 10 years until the entire bridge is replaced as planned.