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New toll-free Pattullo Bridge opening date moved to 2024 due to COVID-19 pandemic

Work has started on the new Pattullo Bridge while the old Pattullo Bridge can be seen in the background. Al Coen / Global News

The opening date for the new toll-free Pattullo Bridge replacement has been moved from late 2023 to sometime in 2024.

The government said preliminary, in-river work began in February, including installing the first piles that will form the foundation for the first bridge tower, but the on-site investigative work and permitting processes have taken longer than anticipated due to the complexities of the project and the COVID-19 pandemic, the government said in a release.

Read more: Contract awarded for new four-lane Pattullo Bridge replacement

The in-river work is now temporarily paused to protect fish and fish habitat in the Fraser and will hopefully resume when the fish window opens again in the summer, the government added.

Other work on land will continue in the meantime and foundations in both New Westminster and Surrey are expected to start being built this spring.

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Click to play video: 'Construction on new Pattullo Bridge to begin' Construction on new Pattullo Bridge to begin
Construction on new Pattullo Bridge to begin – Feb 10, 2020
Work taking place in the Pattullo Bridge yard earlier this year. Credit: Al Coen / Global News.
Work taking place in the Pattullo Bridge yard earlier this year. Credit: Al Coen / Global News.

The existing Pattullo Bridge will not be removed until after the new bridge is completed and open.

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The government said the new bridge, estimated to cost $1.377-billion, is still on budget.

The new bridge is designed to be four lanes with an expandable capacity for six lanes, with walking and cycling paths.

Click to play video: 'New West family has kept Pattullo Bridge opening day banner' New West family has kept Pattullo Bridge opening day banner
New West family has kept Pattullo Bridge opening day banner – Dec 8, 2020

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