In less than a week, eight of the 10 shiny new Port Mann Bridge lanes outside of Vancouver, B.C., will open to the public, a significant milestone in the $3.3 billion project to build a new Fraser River span, now known as the world’s widest bridge at over 213 ft wide.

Already five of the lanes are in use connecting Coquitlam and Surrey and November saw the shut-down of the old Port Mann Bridge, built 48 years ago. By opening up three more lanes on Dec. 1, the main work on the new bridge will be complete.

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Crews will continue to add two more local-traffic bridge lanes as they remove the old bridge, bringing the total number to 10 lanes, complete with 164 ft of roadway, a multi-use path and buffer zones. The bridge will also be capable of adding light rail.

Officials expect the full 10-lane bridge to be operational in late 2013 and the old bridge to be gone for good sometime in 2014.

The Transportation Investment Corporation, the public crown company created to construct, operate and maintain the new bridge, says it features the largest and longest main-span river crossing in Western Canada, the second longest in North America and the 29th longest in the world. At over 1.25 miles long in total, the cable-stayed main bridge portion alone is 2,700 ft and features 288 cables. Those cables, if stretched end-to-end would total 28 miles.

The main architectural feature of the new span is the two towers rising about 250 ft above deck level.

The new Port Mann Bridge by the numbers:


1,158 pre-cast segments in the approach spans

• 25,000 tonnes of asphalt used for new bridge deck

• 116 steel composite segments in the cablestay span

• 45 kilometres of cable

• 157,000 m3 of concrete

• 16 km of pile and 5 km of drilled shafts.

• 28,000 tonnes of rebar and 13,000 tonnes of structural steel

• 3.1 million m3 of earthworks

• 30 new, 6 rehabilitated structures

• 100,000 m2 of retaining walls

• 12,000 tonnes of structural steel

• 157,000 m3 of concrete

• 1170 m of approaches

• 288 cables, 251 piles, 108 caisons

• 2 pylon towers, each 158 m high

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