The Pattullo Bridge connects Surrey to New Westminster. (File photo)

Earthquake warning system being installed for Pattullo Bridge

The ‘gate’ system is set to go live later this year

A new warning system for the Pattullo Bridge to alert drivers ahead of an earthquake is expected to go live later this year.

The “advanced warning system” will monitor wind speeds and also detect earthquakes to “provide alerts up to one minute prior to damaging ground waves reaching the bridge,” according to a report considered at a Sept. 25 meeting of the Mayor’s Council on Regional Transportation.

In an emailed statement, TransLink told the Now-Leader that the system will involve the installation of ground sensors that detect seismic activity.

“Once the system is activated, gates, similar to railway gates, come down to prevent traffic from crossing the bridge. In addition to the gates, the system also consists of advance warning flashers and signage for vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians,” the statement explained.

The current crossing is more than 80 years old and was not designed to meet current wind and seismic loading standards that would apply to a new bridge constructed today, the report notes.

“As result, may be vulnerable in a seismic or hurricane-level wind event,” the Mayors Council report states. “To improve safety for Bridge users, an advance warning and monitoring system is being designed and implemented.”

PBX Engineering has completed the design work, and the contractor Mainroad has started construction.

TransLink expects the system to go live in December.

The system is not installed on any other bridges owned and maintained by TransLink, which are the Knight Street, Golden Ears, and Westham Island bridges.

READ ALSO: New Pattullo Bridge expected to open in 2023, Feb. 16, 2018

READ MORE: Pattullo Bridge project budget unchanged as bids come in Aug. 27, 2019)

With plans for a Pattullo Bridge replacement underway, TransLink is continuing to monitor the condition of the current crossing.

This year, TransLink also plans to do more repairs to some of the bridge’s railings, with some of that work already completed earlier in 2019.

“A total of 606 railing posts were inspected and assigned deficiency ratings based on their observed conditions. Of the 606 posts inspected, 128 posts were classified as needing immediate repair or replacement,” according to the TransLink report.

A condition inspection was also completed in late July.

“No new areas of concern have been reported so far as a result of the July 2019 inspections,” the report notes. “TransLink will continue to perform annual monitoring as well as any additional investigations and repairs as required if any areas of concern or accelerated deteriorations are detected.”

The condition of the bridge’s concrete deck is also being monitored, as it is in an “active and advanced state of deterioration, primarily due to corrosion of the reinforcing steel.”

TransLink says to ensure the deck remains “functional and safe,” deck experts are conducting bi-weekly walk-through inspections from the deck, ground and catwalk levels.

READ ALSO: Province selects three bidding teams for Pattullo Bridge replacement, Feb. 14, 2019

READ ALSO: Province gives OK for environmental assessment certificate for Pattullo replacement, May 2, 2019

In addition to the top surface of the deck, TransLink reports that “extensive corrosion-related damage is also occurring to the bottom surface (soffit).”

Debris netting is currently in place to protect the public and other infrastructure, including the railway tracks, from concrete falling from the deck soffit.

Northwest Hydraulic Consultants also conducts bi-annual surveys assessing risks from the changing of river hydraulics.

In its most recent survey, NHC recommended more frequent protection surveys, due to upcoming in-river works required in building the replacement crossing.

Meantime, the $1.3 billion replacement of the bridge linking Surrey and New Westminster is scheduled to start by the end of 2019 and be completed in 2023. Built north of the existing 80-year-old structure, the new bridge will still have four vehicle lanes, plus pedestrian and bike lanes and a new off-ramp to Highway 17, the South Fraser Perimeter Road.

-With files from Tom Fletcher



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

Vehicle of missing Maple Ridge man is found in Abbotsford

Barrie Holt, 63, is also known to frequent Chilliwack area

UPDATE: Vehicle located and driver arrested in relation to fatal hit-and-run

Male pedestrian in his 50s died after being struck by vehicle on Highway 11 in Abbotsford

SOGI information session for parents at Abbotsford Arts Centre tonight

Presentation starts at 7:00 p.m. and only open to parents with student enrolled in district

VIDEO: Abbotsford drivers cut into bike lanes on neighbourhood street

Abbotsford resident films 30 minutes, sees nearly half of all drivers entering into lane

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Workers at four Vancouver hotels ratify contract with higher wages, job security

Unite Here Local 40 president Zailda Chan says it’s the first hotel strike in Vancouver in nearly two decades

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

B.C. RCMP officer suing the force for malicious prosecution

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth cleared of wrongdoing after misconduct hearing

Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

B.C. health officials have discovered the first vaping-related illness in the province

Alberta truck convoy plans counter-protest at climate rally with Greta Thunberg

United We Roll organizer says similar protest planned for Swedish teen’s event in Edmonton

Most Read