No tolls during first week of new Port Mann bridge

The Port Mann bridge. Photo sourced from Wikimedia Commons.

The first week of tolling will be free to families and commuters when the new Port Mann Bridge officially opens in December. Transportation Minister Mary Polak made the announcement today at a worker appreciation barbeque that celebrated the Port Mann Bridge's official inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's widest bridge.

The toll-free period will give all drivers - commuters, truckers, families - a chance to use the bridge for free and experience first- hand the time-saving benefits provided by the world's widest bridge. The event was also an opportunity to confirm the Port Mann Bridge's official entry 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.

Once completed, the new Port Mann Bridge will eliminate the worst traffic bottleneck in British Columbia, reducing commute times by up to 50 per cent and giving drivers as much as an hour per day to spend with their families, friends and other important activities.

Opening the new bridge to traffic in December will complete the first and largest phase of the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project, which also includes highway widening and the rebuilding of three interchanges between 160 St. in Surrey and Cape Horn in Coquitlam. While the bridge will not open to eight-lane capacity until December, drivers will get an advance look at the new crossing starting Sept. 18.

Three Highway 1 eastbound lanes will be transitioned to the new crossing at that time as part of construction staging to give crews the space required to continue work on the bridge approaches. This is the largest transportation project in B.C. history, and government is delivering on its promise to reduce congestion and save time for commuters and families using the province's busiest transportation corridor.

Workers at the event were congratulated and thanked for their contribution to the project. In addition to the world's widest bridge, the Port Mann/Highway 1 Project includes 37 kilometres of highway widening, 30 kilometres of new HOV lanes and the rebuilding of seven highway overpasses and nine highway interchanges.

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