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Westbound lanes to open on new Port Mann bridge
It may still look like a construction zone but the new Port Mann Bridge will open to eight lanes of traffic on Saturday, Dec. 1, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has announced.
The transition will happen gradually and drivers still need to take extra care traveling through the area, the ministry has noted in a press release.
Beginning this Saturday, Nov. 17, two lanes of Highway 1 westbound traffic will be shifted onto the new bridge. Crews will continue to work in the area to complete the highway widening and Cape Horn improvements at the north end, and drivers should watch for new signs as crews reposition barriers and lanes leading on to the new Port Mann Bridge.
According to the ministry's press release, the first week of eight-lane operation will be free and tolling will begin on Dec. 8.
The move follows the September opening of three lanes of eastbound traffic onto the bridge and the announcement of incentives for people who sign up for tolling before Nov. 30.
The province wants regular bridge users to sign up and get the TReO windshield decal that is automatically detected without the more costly use of license plate cameras and manual image checks that will be used to invoice non-registered vehicles.
As an incentive, half-price tolls— $1.50 for regular cars instead of $3 — apply for a full year for those who register before March 1, when the three-month discount period for all expires and non-registered users start paying full price.
A further incentive gives 20 free crossings to those who sign up before Nov. 30.
Dec. 1 will also mark the completion of interchange improvements and highway widening east of the Port Mann Bridge construction, including more than 20 km of new HOV lanes extending to Langley.
But until the full 10-lane bridge opens, construction will continue along the route and drivers should take extra care.