Pattullo Bridge to close overnight Friday, Jan. 31 to test new seismic warning system

Click to play video: 'New Pattullo Bridge safety concerns'
New Pattullo Bridge safety concerns
WATCH (September 2016): New Pattullo Bridge safety concerns – Sep 28, 2016

Drivers that use the Pattullo Bridge are being warned of an overnight closure on Friday, while crews test new safety technology.

TransLink says it will conduct tests on a newly installed early seismic warning and wind monitoring system between 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31 and 5 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1.

READ MORE: Pattullo Bridge may be vulnerable to strong winds

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Click to play video: 'New safety sensors to be installed on Pattullo bridge'
New safety sensors to be installed on Pattullo bridge

According to the transportation agency, the sensors are meant to pick up early signs of powerful winds or a seismic event.

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If the system detects such an emergency situation, TransLink says it would automatically drop traffic-control gates similar to the “train arms” at railway crossings to block bridge entrances.

READ MORE: Pattullo Bridge replacement clears environmental assessment, on track to start construction this year

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It would also activate advanced warning lights and electronic signs warning that the bridge is closed.

A study released in 2016 found that the bridge may not be able to withstand high winds or an earthquake.

The Pattullo Bridge is slated for replacement with a new, $1.377-billion four-lane bridge, with a planned completion date of 2023.

During the closure, motorists are advised to take the Port Mann or Alex Fraser bridges as alternatives, while the N19 bus will be rerouted over the Queensborough bridge, TransLink said.

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