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

Langley’s “spider house” now open for Halloween haunts

Brinkworth Dungeon adds an extra 1600 square feet for more terror during their 19th year

Aldergrove Kodiaks beat Surrey Knights by a landslide victory at home

The bears took out Surrey 15-0, ending their own four-game losing streak

LETTER: Langley riding campaign manager sets the record straight

Not all Cloverdale-Langley candidates attended all local all-candidate forums.

LETTER: Langley letter writer defends local Conservative candidate

A local man says blackface issue for Tamara Jansen completely different than Trudeau’s actions

Zoo awarded for its restoration of the Salmon River

The zoo was recognized in collaboration on the project with LEPS and Person Ecological

VIDEO: First all-female spacewalk team makes history

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir did work on International Space Station’s power grid

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

$50,000 reward for ‘extremely violent’ South Surrey murder suspect renewed

Offer for information on Brandon Teixeira to remain in effect through April, 2020

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Most Read