Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Port Mann

With the help of the Internet Archive's WayBackMachine, I was able to find some interesting facts about the Port Mann Bridge and HOV lanes that currently exist on the Trans-Canada Highway. First some background, a July 29, 1998 press release outlined the government of the day's plans and priority for highways in Metro Vancouver:
The provincial government proposes to improve the operation of the Greater Vancouver highway system over the next decade through the development of four types of programs. High Occupancy Vehicle / Transit Priority Network. It is expected that in the next five to seven years the investment priority for HOV will be the creation of transit lanes and queue jumpers on both provincial and local roads. The objective is to help increase BC Transit ridership by providing time savings and improving reliability. A second priority will be the development of HOV lanes in the eastern half of the Burrard Peninsula to provide connectivity and continuity with the Barnet-Hastings and Highway 1 HOV lanes. The current timetable calls for the completion of a detailed investment plan in early 1998.


Major Road Improvements. Over the next two years, the provincial government will co-operate with municipalities to plan regional routes which may be upgraded or developed to take pressure off the Trans-Canada corridor and to improve conditions for local and regional traffic.

Trans-Canada Highway improvements which will be implemented in co-operation with local governments are:

-Improvements at and around the Cape Horn Interchange just west of the Port Mann Bridge to increase its capacity to process traffic, including high occupancy vehicles coming from the new Highway 1 HOV lanes
-A new South Fraser Perimeter Road to link highways 1 and 15 with Highway 91 and the Alex Fraser Bridge. Among other benefits, this would divert traffic from the Port Mann Bridge
-A North Fraser Perimeter Road, partly using existing roadway, to connect the Mary Hill Bypass with Marine Way and relieve growing congestion
-A Stormont-McBride Connector to provide a better connection from Highway 1 in Burnaby to Marine Way and Highway 91
-The extension of Nordel Way to connect with 88th Avenue
-Some improvements to Highway 10 in Surrey, Langley and Delta to improve safety and traffic flow between highways 1 and 91.
This lead me to another website about the $60 million Trans-Canada Highway HOV lane project between Grandview Highway Interchange and the Cape Horn Interchange.

HOV lanes near Cariboo
under construction
This project completed in 1998, just in time for the $74 million Cape Horn to Port Mann Bridge HOV improvement project.
There are four components to the $74-million project:

-Highway 7 laning improvements at United Boulevard (Opened November 17, 1999)
-A new Highway 7 to Highway 1 westbound on-ramp (Opened December 15, 1999)
-An eastbound HOV lane on the Port Mann Bridge (Scheduled completion Spring 2001)
-Mary Hill Bypass to westbound Highway 1 ramp (Scheduled completion late 2001)

The additional eastbound HOV lane will be an extension of the existing Highway 1 HOV Lanes that opened in October 1998. The HOV lanes currently run from the Grandview Highway Interchange (just east of Boundary Road) to the Cape Horn Interchange (just west of the Port Mann Bridge).

It is interesting to note that the HOV lanes were originally for three or more people in a vehicle and was reduced to two or more. Also really interesting is that the company that is going to tear down the current Port Mann Bridge is the same company that in 2001 complete the HOV lane on that same bridge, Flatiron. Between 1998 and 2001 the government of the day invested $134 million on the Trans-Canada highway, only to have it last for about a decade. Note a very good return on investment if you ask me. Hopefully, we get more life out of the current $3300 million Port Mann/Highway 1 Project.

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