A quick look at transportation news in BC this week reveals a special event in our province’s history. That’s right, this is a week that went down in the books, the Guinness Book of World Records that is. There were other milestone achievements of course, some of which included tolling announcements for the new Port Mann Bridge (first week free!), safety improvements on Highway 5 and an electrifying announcement from the Ministry of Environment. So, get charged up and get reading – bridging the week is about to begin….
Port Mann Bridge Tolls Announced
The Port Mann Bridge announced its tolling guidelines this week, as well as incentives to get help get motorists on board the new bridge, with tolls starting at $1.50 for passenger vehicles– less than the originally planned toll rate. The bridge will also help motorists reach another 50 per cent milestone by potentially cutting commuting times in half. Learn more about the tolling system and other discounts and incentives here.
A Record Breaking Bridge
It’s official. The Port Mann Bridge will be the widest bridge in the world when it opens. This fact was confirmed this week to the joy of bridge lovers and commuters alike. We knew it was a special bridge and the largest project of its kind in B.C’s transportation history, but this announcement really drove home the monumental aspect of the structure.
The previous Guinness World Record was held by the 48.8 metre-wide Sydney Harbour Bridge. At 65.06 metres wide, the Port Mann Bridge beats the previous record by 16.26 metres. Here’s the official write up that you will see in the 2014 edition of the famous book: Guinness World Records -
“The widest bridge in the world is the Port Mann Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge that crosses the Fraser River between Coquitlam and Surrey in British Columbia, Canada. The main 470-metre-long span between the cable towers has a width of 65.060 metres, although the bridge reaches a maximum width of 65.231 metres at each of the towers.”
In addition to the record breaking announcement, we also shared the news that the first week of tolling on the new bridge would be free to commuters travelling when it officially opens in December.
Working with BC Parks to Improve Safety and Access Near Clearwater
A new roundabout will replace the current intersection at the junction of Highway 5 and Clearwater Valley Road, in an effort to reduce the potential for serious crashes and improve safety for local residents, visitors, tourists and commercial traffic using the corridor.
The roundabout will calm traffic through the corridor and beautify the northern entrance to the community of Clearwater and the main access route to Wells Gray Provincial Park. BC Parks and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure are working together to ensure the central design features of the roundabout highlight Clearwater’s proximity to the park.
Sing the Highway Electric
If you own an electric vehicle or are thinking about purchasing one, now hear this! 454 new charging stations were announced in communities throughout the province this week, making it even easier for you to recharge and sing the highway electric. Seventy-one organizations and 12 local municipal/regional governments have been approved for charging station incentives funding. These local government recipients include:
- Capital Regional District
- City of Campbell River
- City of Dawson Creek
- City of Duncan
- City of Fort St. John
- City of Merritt
- City of Nanaimo
- City of Terrace
- District of Sechelt
- Metro Vancouver
- Resort Municipality of Whistler
- Regional District of Nanaimo
These communities will be working with local businesses in their regions to identify key locations to site charging stations for public use. Approved stations are distributed throughout the province and will provide public access for electric vehicle owners to charge vehicles in key locations such as municipal halls, shopping centres and hotels. Get ready to power up!
Hope that charged your batteries until our next instalment, but if there’s anything we missed or you’d like to learn more about, please connect with us on Twitter or Facebook. And, we should mention, if you like your news in a more “newspapery” (not a word) format, check out and subscribe to our Paper.li – a collection of info, video, stories and blogs from all the big players in BC Transportation, including BC Transit to BC Ferries, from Prince George Airport to Port Metro Vancouver. Until next week!