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The Lions’ Gate Bridge Suspended Span Replacement


The three lane Lions’ Gate Suspension Bridge is a landmark structure in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The 472 meter (1550 feet) center span marks the entrance to one of the busiest harbours on the west coast of North America. Constructed in 1938, the bridge was privately financed, and as such, long term durability was often sacrificed in favor of initial capital cost savings. In 1997, Buckland & Taylor Ltd. was retained to design the replacement of the entire suspended structure (deck, sidewalks, stiffening trusses, and suspension hangers). Maintaining the traffic (70,000 vehicles per day) on the bridge during the replacement was a critical requirement that influenced every aspect of the design. After the design was completed in December 1998, the project was tendered. Three bids were received, and the winning Contractor, American Bridge / Surespan A Joint Venture, was selected in April 1999. Between September 2000 and September 2001, the suspended structure of the 60-year old bridge was replaced during 10-hour night time closures plus a few longer closures on weekends. The bridge was open to full traffic at all other times during the reconstruction. The final paving was applied in the summer of 2002. This project is believed to be the first time an entire suspended structure has been replaced while traffic continued to use the bridge each day. The result is a wider, safer, more durable suspended structure that blends seamlessly with the aesthetics of the remaining original portions of the bridge.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Darryl Matson