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The Best Place on Earth


For Immediate Release

Jan. 11, 2011

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure





SURREY – Construction of the new Port Mann Bridge, one of the largest infrastructure projects in Canada, has reached a major milestone with the first phase of the new bridge deck on the Surrey side complete and preparations underway to install the bridge deck on the Coquitlam side, Transportation Minister Shirley Bond announced today.


“The Port Mann Bridge and Highway 1 are congested almost 14 hours a day and that’s harming our economy and quality of life,” said Bond. “Once complete, travel times will be cut by as much as 30 per cent. For some, that saves almost an hour a day in travel. For the first time in over 20 years, we’ll see reliable transit service over the new Port Mann Bridge with a new RapidBus service. By 2031, this service will reduce greenhouse gases by 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes per year.”


Before work can begin on the Coquitlam side of the bridge, crews need to relocate the horizontal crane, or gantry, used to install the bridge deck. The steel gantry weighs more than 700 tonnes and is the key piece of equipment used to install the bridge deck. During installation, 90-tonne, pre-made concrete sections of the bridge deck are suspended from the gantry, aligned and then lowered into place. In total 288 deck sections have been placed on the Surrey side.


Relocating the 700-tonne gantry is expected to take approximately three weeks and requires detailed planning and engineering. The gantry will be disassembled into pieces, each weighing approximately 40 tonnes. These pieces will be trucked across the existing bridge where they will be reassembled.


Because of their size, and the configuration of the existing bridge, the pieces will be transported overnight, travelling west in the eastbound Highway 1 lanes. To accommodate this, two of three eastbound lanes will be closed between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. During this time, eastbound traffic will use the eastbound HOV lane.


In addition, once the trucks leave the construction area and reverse onto Highway 1, crews will use hydraulic jacks to lower the trucks, reducing ground clearance from two feet to approximately two inches. This will provide the necessary clearance for the trucks to travel under the arch structure at the middle of the existing bridge.


In total, 16 trips across the bridge will be made during the month of January to relocate the gantry. Once it is reassembled crews will begin installing the 831 pre-made concrete sections that will make up the Coquitlam side’s north approach to the bridge. 


            “Residents of Surrey, Langley and all communities south of the Fraser are eagerly awaiting completion of the new bridge,” said Dave S. Hayer, MLA for Surrey Tynehead. “I have been advocating this project for almost the full decade that I have been in office, and it is extremely gratifying to see my efforts paying off. The new 10-lane Port Mann and the additional freeway lanes will eliminate the day-long traffic jams we see today. Completion of the south end of the bridge deck is a milestone everyone in Surrey has been waiting for. It is a great reminder of the hard work crews are putting in every day to complete the bridge and the excellent progress that is being made.”




To view photos and video of the gantry relocation, visit the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on Flickr and YouTube at: and


Editors:  To download photos and video of the gantry relocation, please contact the Transportation and Investment Corporation at 778 783-1218.


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Media Contacts:


Baljinder Jacques

Public Affairs Bureau

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

250 387-5798

Max Logan

Transportation Investment Corporation

778 783-1218


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