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WTS – What the Surrey #28: Pattullo Bridge Asbestos

June 11th, 2008 @ 9:49pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

What’s next? Dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you? Not quite, but something that should concern commuters yet again is the deterioration of the Pattullo aka Bridge of Death as it has recently been revealed that its deck contains asbestos.

The toxic material was mixed in with the asphalt and laid down on top of the original concrete deck during the 1980s. It’s complicating TransLink’s latest efforts to repave the bridge and better assess its structural safety.

Now classified as a contaminated material, the asphalt can’t just be ground up as it would in most other road projects lest it become a hazardous airborne dust. Instead it must be kept wet and be removed in sealed containers as part of specialized handling and disposal requirements that have kicked in. [Surrey Leader]

No seismic upgrades, no median barrier to prevent head-on crashes, lanes that are obscenely and illegally narrow, and so many lives lost. Translink has put all Pattullo renovations on the backburner so they can figure out what to do about the asbestos in the deck and until they receive reports about the potential widening or twinning of the Bridge of Death. I suppose until then we should all just hold our breath and focus our attention on the beaver situation in Surrey.

(Read any or all of my previous posts about the Pattullo [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9])

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9 comments

  1. Raul says:

    Holy crap, I can now understand your beef with the Patullo… asbestos is not a good thing :(

  2. teflonjedi says:

    I’m thinking now that if I look closely at Google Maps, the bridge might show up on the map as one of the Signs of the Apocalypse…

  3. Bradley says:

    You cant widen that bridge or put up a median in the centre. It would narrow it even more and people would slam into it and bounce around like a pinball machine causing even more damage. I say put photo radar at both ends or grooved pavement

    But yeah, something needs to be done and that asbestos thing is just lovely to hear about :s

  4. Tyler Ingram says:

    This has been talked about a lot on other sites such as CBC in regards to what to do with the bridge. Some people suggested twinning (useless, great put more traffic over the water but they have to merge back anyway..) then there was the suggestion of removing large commercial trucks during peak times or all together. Which will affect delivery of goods and increase the price of said goods because it will take longer/more gas to transport. People were getting upset when semi-trucks would drive down the middle of the 2 lanes. I think that’s a good thing a) keeps speeds in check b) ensures that the big trucks don’t hit anything on the narrow lanes though it does cause traffic and backups and disgruntled impatient drivers too.

    I’m for build a new bridge like that here in Pitt Meadows (The GoldenEars Bridge).

    As for the asbestos that really does suck. Though Translink will take its sweetass time trying to figure things out while more people die on that bridge. I dislike going over that bridge.

  5. Jenny says:

    The bridge needs replacing all together. It’s ridiculous that it’s gone on for so long like this. You can be sure that were the bridge connecting 2 more high profile areas of the lower mainland it would have been taken care of long ago.

  6. Monica says:

    Why am I not surprised? We need sooooo much transportation work in the Lower Mainland. Both bridges, roads, and public transport. http://www.railforthevalley.com

  7. [...] beavers, they are pretty much everywhere. Take a walk down under the Pattullo Bridge (careful for falling asbestos debris) and you’ll probably spot some. However they do tend to migrate and may not even be there the [...]

  8. [...] standards, causing dozens to lose theirs lives in recent years, and even being packed with asbestos, the Bridge of Death is just plain scary to cross (so don’t ask why I did it with my Flip [...]

  9. Dave says:

    Its been known for years that asbestos is hazardous to our health, when inhaled. Road experts on asphalt paving (in the 1980s when the bridge(s) was paved it was done by Kevin Falcon’s predecessor… deep pocket provincial funding not Translink frenched pockets) have long maintained that the use of the material was safe, as long as it was encapsulated by oil and tar. Vancouver main water lines are made from a mixture of concrete and ASBESTOS, and its only Winnipeg and Vancouver unique water that has the ability to leach out the asbestos so that we can ………ingest it.

    Translink shouldn’t be on the full financial hook for Removal/Disposal/Replacement when it was brought about by the Provincial government short sightedness.

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Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival Vancouver 2008
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Vancouver Events and Some Tunes for June 2008