Brouhaha over bridge (Abbotsford Times)

by

This article in the Abbotsford Times today

by Rafe Arnott

(excerpt):

Rail For The Valley spokesman John Buker said, “This is a seriously flawed project – with or without a private partner.

“It seems the government has been hypnotized by this project, and wishes to plow ahead regardless of rapidly changing circumstances.”

Buker said people in the Fraser Valley need a light rail service, citing the fact that valley taxpayers continue to fund TransLink.

“In 2013 they will be expected to pay an additional $3 toll each time they cross the Port Mann, and still there will be no light rail alternative whatsoever.”

David D. Hull, the executive director of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, said last week: “Build the bloody thing. I sat [in traffic] for a 1* hours to cross on a Friday to go have a meeting with the premier and the cabinet . . . they can’t build it fast enough.”

Hull said despite the failed partnership he thinks the government is wise in proceeding.

“The project is, frankly, 20 years past due. You’re talking about a 1963 freeway and bridge system that is horribly, horribly inadequate for today’s needs.”

Hull believes the provincial government is doing a good job of balancing transportation infrastructure between rubber and steel wheels.

“These roads and bridges are not going to be built just in isolation, they’re going to be built in conjunction with transit, and transit plans and extensions of SkyTrain systems.”

Ed Fast, Conservative MP for Abbotsford, said he was hesitant to comment on a provincial project.

“We, as a federal government, have not lobbied for that particular solution. We’ve said ‘Listen, we understand the provinces are closer to the challenges, and it’s their prerogative to make those decisions.’ ”

When asked whether the feds have a preference for expanding rail travel solutions over roads, Fast jumped on several federal initiatives focused on making it easier for goods and services to take advantage of existing rail lines, or to expand on them.

He said Abbotsford International Airport plays a huge role as a transportation hub of the province. “[The airport] holds one of the keys to the future of air travel in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley.”

It’s really too bad that David Hull didn’t have a light rail option to travel to Vancouver for his meeting with the premier. He could have relaxed and gone over his notes, instead of being stuck in traffic…..

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2 Responses to “Brouhaha over bridge (Abbotsford Times)”

  1. David Says:

    What none of the valley bridge/freeway supporters seem to understand is that by 2020 the lineup for the new Port Mann bridge will be back to an hour and they’ll be stuck paying a $3.50 toll for the privilege.

    They need alternatives not more lanes in the Highway 1 parking lot.

  2. Grumpy Says:

    As I understand the toll will be $3.00 each way, just as the tunnel, Queensborugh Bridge, Oak St. Bridge, etc. were tolled in the past. The real cost will be $6.00 a day.

    There is persistent rumour that the trucking industry will get discounted tolls – cheaper the more times they use the bridge in a week.

    The Chamber of Commerce are nothing more than the BC Liberal farm team and they will not nay-say any new highway and bridge construction.

    Sadly for Mr. Hull, he is a yesterday’s man who believes in rubber on asphalt solutions, sprinkled with SkyTrain. I hope he has a fat wallet because he is going to need one to pay for the new highways, bridges and SkyTrain.

    We are at least 30 years behind transit wise and falling further and further behind with each month.

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