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