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Backgrounder(s) & FactSheet(s):Factsheet

 

 


  NEWS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

2006TRAN0020-000748

June 6, 2006

Ministry of Transportation

 

MAJORITY SUPPORT TOLLING TWINNED PORT MANN BRIDGE

 


COQUITLAM – The results of a comprehensive pre-design public consultation show most respondents support tolling a twinned Port Mann Bridge, announced Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon today.

 

“We are fully committed to a comprehensive community consultation program that ensures voices are heard and decisions are well informed throughout the Gateway design process,” said Falcon. “The results show that people understand the need for improvements that reduce congestion as our region continues to grow.”

 

People were specifically consulted on goals for interchange upgrades and draft options for congestion reduction measures such as HOV lanes, transit and commercial vehicle priority access to highway on/off-ramps and improvements to the cycling network. In addition, they were specifically asked if they supported a potential toll on the twinned Port Mann Bridge.

 

The majority of the consultation participants, over 56 per cent, support a proposed toll on the Port Mann Bridge. Support increased to 70 per cent and higher for a toll combined with options that provide reduced tolls for HOV users, variable tolls for off-peak periods, and toll-free overnight periods

 

Tolling and other traffic demand measures are being considered in various combinations to reduce congestion and limit growth in traffic on the Port Mann Bridge. Analysis indicates that, without these measures, the improved highway would reach current levels of congestion five to 10 years after project completion. However, with the traffic demand measures, including tolling, in place, the benefits extend for more than 25 years.

 

“The consequence of not making these improvements include increasing congestion, more pollution from idling vehicles, increased cost to the economy, delayed goods movement, and unreliable transit connections through the region,” said Falcon. “People who travel the Highway 1 corridor told us the project is long overdue and that’s why doing nothing is not an option.”

 

More than 3,400 individuals participated in the pre-design community consultation program. The consultation included 13 evening and weekend public open houses in Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Burnaby and Vancouver.

 

The Port Mann/Highway 1 project is one component of the Gateway Program. It includes widening Highway 1, twinning the Port Mann Bridge, upgrading interchanges and improving access and safety on Highway 1 from the McGill interchange in Vancouver to 216th Street in Langley, a distance of approximately 37 km.

 

Public consultation takes place at each of the three key design stages – pre-design, preliminary design and detailed design. As with all major projects, Gateway Program projects are subject to public consultation and environmental certification.

 

The Port Mann /Highway 1 public consultation summary report and further information on the Gateway Program is available online at www.gatewayprogram.bc.ca.

 

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 1 factsheet(s) attached.

 

 

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