To all supporters of passenger rail service for the Fraser Valley
Last Wednesday, the provincial government announced, out of the blue, an entirely new Port Mann bridge to be built. It will not be a twinned bridge, but a single 10-lane span, and the existing bridge will be torn down, only 45 years into its 75 year lifespan. There will be no light rail component on the bridge when it is forecast to be completed in 2013. The project’s estimated cost is $3.3 billion. (If recent megaprojects are any indication, this cost will likely rise substantially.)
Then, you might want to read these editorials by experts supporting Rail for the Valley:
Government spin that the bridge is designed to accomodate light rail ‘sometime in the future’ is just that – spin. Another word is ‘deception.’ Never in history has this type of bridge been built, and then at a later date had lanes taken away to accomodate light rail.
It appears the BC government is trying to deceive the people of BC, who will likely be expected to pay the equivalent of about $1000 for every man, woman, and child in the province for this single project. (Every premier wants a legacy, I suppose.) While the Pattullo bridge and the Fraser River rail bridge are in true need of replacement, this project will leave the province bankrupt of money for these, and other, important and necessary improvements. Commuters are supposed to cheer the temporary relief of traffic congestion on the bridge, while the light rail needs of the Fraser Valley, and the united pleas of residents across the valley, are completely ignored.
Friends, we can not stand for this!
***What to do right now***
Immediately flood our newspapers with Letters to the editor, cc’ing your elected representatives and opposition candidates.
The government has got to hear the message, loud and clear, from the people of the Fraser Valley, before any contracts for this project are signed.
Please pass this on to others who might be interested.
More action to follow.
Thank you for doing your part…