JOC ARCHIVES

September 19, 2012

Shoulder section of Highway 1 in Coquitlam collapses

BRADLEY FEHR

Crews work on a section of Highway 1 in Coquitlam where excavation work caused an embankment to collapse.

Crews are repairing a shoulder section of Highway 1 in Coquitlam, BC, after excavation work for the twinning project caused an embankment to collapse.

“Crews were working on the highway last night between North Road and Brunette doing some excavation work, and some of the soil slid down the embankment,” said Max Logan, spokesperson for the Transportation Investment Corporation, which is a public crown corporation established to implement the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project. “Construction crews are currently making repairs and doing slope stabilization.”

The embankment gave way just before 5 a.m on Sept. 20 while crews were constructing a retaining wall for the highway improvement project.

“The excavation in the area is a precursor to the construction of a retaining wall and highway widening,” said Logan, who added that the area of the collapse is about 50 metres in length.

As a result of the collapse, two lanes of highway 1 eastbound were closed as a precautionary measure and traffic is restricted to the HOV lane.

A geo-technical expert was called in assess the situation. Logan won’t speculate as to when the repairs will be completed but he hopes to have both lanes re-opened today.

Just two days ago, eastbound traffic was shifted from the old Port Mann Bridge to the new bridge. Crews made this transition by moving barriers and adjusting line painting and lane markings at either end of the bridge during the night of September 17.

This milestone is the first step towards opening the new Port Mann Bridge with eight lanes of traffic in December. The three eastbound lanes will continue to be available to traffic until that time.

Once completed, the new 10-lane Port Mann Bridge will be the second largest and longest cable-supported bridge in North America, and at 65 metres wide it will be the widest bridge in the world.

In fact, the Port Mann Bridge has been officially entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the widest bridge in the world.

The previous Guinness World Record was held by the 48.8 metre-wide Sydney Harbour Bridge. At 65.06 metres wide, the Port Mann Bridge beats the previous record by 16.26 metres.

The Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project is the largest transportation infrastructure project in B.C. history. It includes doubling the capacity of the bridge and widening the highway for 37 kilometres from Vancouver to Langley.

BRADLEY FEHR

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