The Gateway Program is a $3.0 billion regional transportation project for Greater Vancouver that is being run by the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation. On January 31, 2005 the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation introduced the Gateway Program as a means to address growing congestion. The scope of the Gateway Project includes building a second bridge to double the capacity of the Port Mann Bridge.
$300 million of the project is a dedicated contingency in case it goes out of budget.
Port Mann Bridge/Highway 1
- $1.5 billion
The program includes a plan for the Port Mann Bridge to be expanded from 4 lanes to 8 lanes to alleviate congestion and frequent delays. Currently, the Port Mann Bridge is congested 90% of the time between the hours of 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.; the definition of "congested" has not been specified. Since 1985, traffic on the bridge has increased 65% from 77,000 vehicles per day to 127,000.
Two of the new bridge lanes would be for HOV as part of the BC Ministry of Transportation's goal to expand Greater Vancouver's HOV network from the McGill Street to 216th street in Langley, a distance of 37 kilometres. Upgrades to interchanges are intended to increase safety, improve connections between municpalities, and reduce backups onto local streets. The Gateway Program also includes a $50 million investment in cycling infrastructure including separated cycling lanes across the Port Mann Bridge.
The new bridge is designed to be able to accommodate LRT in the future. In addition, the Port Man twinned bridges may be tolled to help pay construction costs.
South Fraser Perimeter Road
- $800 million
A new 4 lane highway approximately 40-km long, 80km/h route along the south side of the Fraser River extends from Highway 17 in southwest Delta to meet up with the Golden Ears Bridge connector road. It would help the rapidly growing port facilities, rail and industiral yards.
Opponents argue that this route will increase pollution near residential neighbourhoods and schools; destroy the hydrology of Burn's Bog, a threatened and sensitve ecosystem; and pave over valuable farmland.
North Fraser Perimeter Road/Pitt River Bridge and Marry Hill Interchange
- $400 million
The North Fraser Perimeter Road is a set of proposed improvements to existing roads along the north shore of the Fraser River, to provide an efficient, continuous route between the Queensborough Bridge in New Westminster and TransLink’s new Golden Ears Bridge in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows. Proposed upgrades would improve safety and reliability along this key goods movement corridor and better serve growing communities in the northeast sector of Greater Vancouver.
The Pitt River Bridge and Mary Hill Interchange Project includes a new bridge to replace the existing swing bridges and an interchange to replace the existing Lougheed Highway and the Mary Hill Bypass intersection. The project is a stand-alone component of the North Fraser Perimeter Road Project.
The new cable-stayed bridge will be located between the existing bridges and will have 3 lanes of westbound traffic and 4 lanes of eastbound traffic on opening day. It will also provide up to 16 metres of vertical marine clearance, as well as providing facilities for cyclists and pedestrians. The bridge will be designed to accommodate different lane allocations and future light rapid transit.
The existing intersection at Lougheed Highway and Mary Hill Bypass will be replaced with a grade-separated interchange with on and off ramps that would allow for free-flow of traffic, while also providing for future connection to the Fremont Extension, to support development in Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam.
Combined with the new bridge, these improvements will allow for the elimination of the current counterflow system.
The project is being funded by the federal and provincial governments. As part of its recent Asia-Pacific Gateway & Corridor Initiative, the Government of Canada has committed $90 million in funding for costs associated with the construction of the bridge and a new grade-separated interchange at Lougheed Highway and Mary Hill Bypass. The Province is providing $108 million.
Official website: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/gateway/
Websites against the Gateway plan: