Knowledge CentreTechnical Resources SearchConference PapersModifications to Queensborough Bridge, New Westminster, BC

Modifications to Queensborough Bridge, New Westminster, BC


Reconstruction of the Highway 91A corridor to improve traffic mobility involved safety upgrades on the Queensborough Bridge, reconfiguration of the existing north-end Queensborough interchange, and construction of a new south-end interchange at Howes Street. Numerous technical and logistical challenges were overcome to successfully deliver this complex, $65 million project. The main challenge was to reconstruct an existing interchange in a confined urban space, without inconveniencing the community or the 100,000 daily road users. The design team was tasked with improving safety and efficiency; satisfying the interests of a variety of stakeholders; and delivering the project on time and within budget. The implemented improvements have accessed previously unused traffic capacity on the bridge which now functions more effectively for all users. Focused engineering design and innovative construction techniques resulted in an efficient traffic management strategy; uninterrupted transit service; improved sorting of local and regional traffic; creative structural solutions to overcome bridge limitations; and a facility that satisfies a diverse range of user requirements. Accommodation of cyclists, pedestrians and wheelchairs was a key component of the community consultation process, which resulted in fully separating active transportation modes from vehicular traffic. The economic, social and environmental benefits that derive from improved goods movement, reduced congestion, and support for active transportation modes, will benefit the regional economy for years to come. The cornerstone of this project was to carry out major structural modifications under traffic to the 847 m long, 50-year old, Queensborough Bridge – a critical link in the regional highway network. With the bridge already at its load capacity, the vital safety improvements had to be incorporated without increasing gravity loads – achieved through a unique, ultra-light, concrete-surfaced steel sidewalk design. Other important bridge modifications needed were adding a lane to the north end of the bridge; removing two redundant spans; placing a traffic barrier between opposing traffic lanes; and installing new parapets at the roadway edges.

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