Speaking of uniting the city...
The new Port Mann Bridge, on Highway#1 part of the Provincial, and Federal Highway System, that crosses the continent, a ten lane tolled cable bridge that crosses the mighty Fraser River and connects Surrey to Vancouver, it's already having problems.
It was started in 2009 and completed in 2012 at a total cost of $3.3 billion, for construction, managing, overseeing, the tolling system equipment, interest, and the purchasing of property to make it wider and provide space for interchanges. At first it was estimated it would cost $2.46 billion, that's almost a billion dollars difference.
To cover this expense, they've added a toll which is not cheap but costly if you cross the bridge frequently, much to the dismay of citizens that depend on it, for work. All of the costs will be recovered by electronic tolls. They figure people who realize the benefits of time savings and reliability will pay for the project without taking taxpayer money.
It is the most important east-west connector for 2.2 million people. If all goes well, the project supposedly will move cars and trucks faster than ever before but...
They've already had set backs. Remember last year, ice dropping on cars, smashing windshields. The bottlenecks are still happening almost everyday at rush hour, coming from both ends, which the new bridge was supposed to alleviate. Trucks have to pay $9.00 per crossing, personal cars $3.00. That's a lot of money if you are a commuter.
They say it will shorten times commuters need to get to a Skytrain Station, where you have to pay to park, and have to pay to ride. If I paid to cross the bridge, at a daily commuter cost of roughly $6.00, I'm driving right into town, forget about the Skytrain. Where do people get the extra money, from their employers? I think not. This all comes out of the commuters pockets.
Another, stab in the back, for Surrey residents and beyond.
All this bridge has done is to make the separation from Surrey to Vancouver more distinct and wider.
Ridership has gone down for truckers. They by-pass the toll by taking the Pattullo Bridge crossing, causing congestion in Delta and New Westminister. That old bridge, a disaster waiting to happen.
The only solution is for people to find work over on this side or move over to the other side.
This is what Translink might have well said about the problem.
"People on the other side of the bridge will just have to get use to it!"