Friday, May 29, 2009

Golden Ears Bridge

Happy Friday! I thought I would share some good news today. As you know, the Golden Ears Bridge will be opening at midnight on June 15th, 2009. The bridge will have a profound effect on transportation on the North Fraser River and South Fraser communities. As part of the opening of the new bridge, TransLink will be introducing a new bus service that will run over the bridge from Langley Centre to Maple Ridge. Also, I’ve been told that many of the community shuttles in Langley will be improving to 30 minutes service which will be a very good thing.

As you many know I live in Langley City and work in Downtown Vancouver, so the 595 many have some use for people like me who may want to try the West Coast Express. I did some basic Math and commuting on the WCE and new 595 bus from Langley Centre will shave about 5 minutes (compare to the 502 and SkyTrain) off my commute. It will give me transit choice and possibly a more comfortable commute. People living in Willoughby and Walnut Grove should benefit more from this new access.

What will be more interesting is the effect on traffic in the area. My prediction is that there will be more traffic and congestion once the new bridge opens (travel between Langley and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows will still be way more convenient.) There will be more on the north side of the Fraser River than the south as the Lougheed Highway is not seeing any improvements. The Golden Ears Bridge will open up Maple Ridge to major new development and it will be interesting to see how that community will grow and if it will be sustainable. The following is from the Maple Ridge News.
But [Pitt Meadows] keeping an eye on the traffic impact resulting from the new connection over the Fraser River.

“It’s really hard to know exactly where the impact will be, MacLean said.
It will be interesting to see the travel pattern 6 months after the bridge's opening. Enjoy the weekend!


Corey said...

Hi Nathan,

I think the Golden Ears will actually be opening to traffic at midnight on the 15th, with a "walk-on" opening ceremony the day before.

I commute through Langley on Highway 1 every day, so I too am eager (sort of, depending on how much traffic is induced!) to see how much traffic changes.

Have a great weekend!

Joe Zaccaria said...

Thanks Corey, I made the correction in the post for Nathan. I watch the TV news often. I don't think Nathan has a TV, even though he's in the industry! :)

Lots of coffee today and spelled your name right, are you impressed?

Joe Zaccaria said...

Oh yeah, and the bridge will be toll free until July 16th.