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The Pattullo Bridge Emergency Repair


The Pattullo Bridge was completed in 1937, and serves as a major link between the communities of New Westminster and Surrey in the Metro Vancouver Area, carrying up to 70,000 vehicles per day, which is a significant portion of all traffic crossing the Fraser River. During construction of the bridge 3 timber spans were added to the Surrey end in place of 18m of granular embankment due to the excessive settlements experienced during construction. In 2007 TransLink identified the timber spans as requiring replacement due to their age, condition and susceptibility to fire damage, and had hired Buckland & Taylor in early 2008 to prepare a design for their replacement. On January 18, 2009 the timber spans were destroyed by fire, completely closing the bridge to all traffic (car, truck, pedestrian and cyclist) and disrupting the movement of goods and people throughout a large portion of the Metro Vancouver area. Post-fire demolition and disposal of the structure was complicated by the fact that the timbers were treated with creosote, and that the asphalt wearing surface of the bridge was potentially asbestos containing. Within 8 days of the fire the damaged timber structure was demolished, and a replacement structure was located, re-engineered, modified, installed and opened to traffic through the hard work, cooperation of numerous stakeholders and dedication of the Owner, Consultant and Contractor.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
David Woolford
Darryl Matson