Golden Ears Bridge tolling equipment in need of $5M upgrade

TransLink makes plans to upgrade Golden Ears Bridge
WATCH: More questions about how Translink spends your money with word that one of Metro Vancouver's newest bridges needs a retrofit. John Daly reports.

The Golden Ears Bridge is only six-and-a-half years old, but TransLink is already budgeting $5 million to replace one of its most important systems.

TransLink says the bridge’s surveillance system, which generated an estimated $43.5 million in tolls in 2015, is in need of upgrades.

“We have technology that apparently is outdated after six-and-a-half years. We don’t know what system will be put in place to give Lower Mainland residents the transit that we know we need with the growing population,” NDP TransLink critic George Heyman said.

TransLink’s 2016 Business Plan, Operating and Capital Budget forecasts that Golden Ears Bridge toll revenue will jump to more than $50 million in 2016.

The report also states they plan to replace the bridge’s tolling equipment due to obsolescence and “end of service life” at an estimated cost of $5 million.

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That adds up to about 10 per cent of all projected toll revenue for 2016.

“It seems quite incredible that two new bridges with tolling systems apparently are out of sync and one of them has to have its technology replaced,” Heyman said.

“We don’t know what Minister [Peter] Fassbender is doing with TransLink, but at the root of this whole problem is a lack of transparency and a lack of accountability.”

No one from TransLink was available to comment.

– With files from John Daly