Commuters will have to wait just two and a half weeks until the new Port Mann Bridge opens to eight lanes of traffic on Saturday, Dec. 1, the province announced Tuesday.
The transition to the eight-lane bridge opening will happen gradually with Highway 1 westbound traffic shifted onto the new bridge overnight on Saturday, Nov. 17, according to a press release.
Westbound traffic will remain in a two-lane configuration until Dec. 1 as crews complete widening and improvements through the Cape Horn Interchange at the north end of the bridge.
“We’re asking drivers to use caution as crews reposition lanes and barriers as we get ready to open the new Port Mann Bridge to westbound traffic,” Transportation Investment Corp. CEO Mike Proudfoot said.
“In addition, over the next two weeks we will be preparing to open the remaining lanes on the bridge and Highway 1 from Langley to Coquitlam in time for Dec. 1. Every effort will be made to minimize the disruption associated with this transition.”
Dec. 1 will also mark the completion of interchange improvements and highway widening east of the Port Mann Bridge construction, including more than 20 kilometres of new HOV lanes extending to Langley.
Construction will continue on the Port Mann Bridge and along the Highway 1 corridor after the Dec. 1 opening. Crews will keep working to complete the bridge to its full 10-lane capacity, and work will continue between the Cape Horn Interchange and Vancouver.
Once complete, the new Port Mann Bridge will eliminate the worst traffic bottleneck in B.C., with the province estimating it will reduce commute times by up to 50 per cent and save drivers as much as an hour per day.