Bridge commuters won’t notice much of a difference once the project is complete, aside from brighter and more energy efficient signal lights, said North Vancouver-Lonsdale NDP MLA Bowinn Ma.
“But its importance really shouldn’t be underestimated. This counterflow system is what enables us to get as much traffic capacity as we do from the Lions Gate Bridge, which supports up to 60,000 [crossings] per day,” she said. “The counterflow lane switches directions as much as 30 times a day. You can just imagine the chaos that can take place if we lose system reliability.”
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure once considered a movable barrier for the counterflow lane using a “zipper truck” like the ones currently used on the Alex Fraser Bridge, Ma noted, but with so many switches per day, staff determined it wasn’t feasible.
Although traffic plummeted in the early days of the pandemic, it is now back between 80 and 90 per cent of its typical volume, Ma said.
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