Overview: Golden Ears Bridge

By Richard High09 February 2009

The Golden Ears Bridge will be the most significant improvement to the Greater Vancouver road system since the completion of the Alex Fraser Bridge in 1986.

Construction began in summer 2006, with a scheduled opening date of summer 2009.

The new bridge, which is being developed by TransLink, the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority, will provide a vital new link between communities on the south side of the river-Langley and Surrey-and the north side communities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

Financing is provided by the Golden Crossing General Partnership under a 35.5 year agreement with TransLink. The transportation authority is to repay the General Partnership over time after the bridge is open.

The "Golden Ears" are twin mountain peaks that look down on the bridge site from north of the Fraser River.

Studies conducted for TransLink show the new bridge will have major long-term impacts on the region, improving travel times and promoting economic activity.

The project connects the Trans-Canada Highway in both Surrey and Langley (on the south side of the Fraser River) with the Lougheed Highway (Highway 7), 128 Avenue, and the new Pitt Meadows Airport Way on the north side of the river.

Construction of the new bridge and road network will create more than one billion dollars in economic activity and 6500 person years of employment.

The Golden Crossing Constructors Joint Venture (GCCJV) is managing design and construction. The JV is made up of Bilfinger Berger (Canada) Inc., the Canadian arm of a global engineering and construction firm, and CH2M HILL, an international engineering and project management firm.

The GCCJV team places the highest priority on the safety of workers and the public, on quality, on working productively with First Nations, and on operating in an environmentally sustainable manner. Residents and motorists are regularly notified of construction activities that may affect their neighbourhoods or create traffic diversions on provincial highways and on local streets and roads.

The aesthetic design of the bridge reflects the "unique social, physical and natural environments" of the region. Elements such as sculptured lighting, golden eagles and a "fish trap" fence will create a sense of unique character for the project.

The use of state-of-the-art technology will allow the boring, rather than driving of piles in the river, reducing disruption to the marine environment.

Project Components:

Roads:

13.3 km of 2, 4 and 6-lane mainline roadway including the main bridge span

5 km of on- and off-ramps

12.2 km of municipal-street upgrades

2 km of modifications on provincial highways and interchanges

Bridges:

17 named bridges including the main river bridge

Total of 4.66 km of bridges

Total of 112000 m2 of bridge deck

© 2007 The Golden Ears Bridge

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