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Cycling advocates think new Pattullo will encourage would-be riders

FILE - Pattullo Bridge (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Biking group pleased with plan to build new Pattullo, think more people will cycle the span

Cycling organization thinks new New Westminster-Surrey bridge will get people out of their cars

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) – It’s not just drivers reacting to last week’s announcement that the Pattullo Bridge will soon be replaced, cyclists are also weighing in.

A group that promotes biking is applauding the move, predicting it will attract more would-be riders to the road.

Right now, the bridge scares off a lot of people who might consider travelling on two wheels, according to Tim Yzerman with the Surrey/White Rock HUB Cycling Committee.

As someone who bikes the crossing daily, Yzerman adds he doesn’t blame them. He feels having separated lanes on both sides of the span will get more people out of their cars.  “The connections are also much improved as well with pathways up the hill in New Westminster, making it a little bit easier, and also the improvements on the Surrey side as well.”

Yzerman is hoping pathways will stay open and easy to ride during construction. “Steep grades really hinder cycling and there’s some better connections in New Westminster as well.”

The new bridge connecting Surrey and New Westminster is expected to be up and running in five years. Premier John Horgan says the province will provide the $1.377 billion to fund it.

The new bridge will have four lanes with the capacity to be expanded to six, and will be located upstream of the existing one. It will be owned, operated, and maintained by the province. The current bridge is being operated by TransLink.

Construction is set to begin the summer of 2019. The new structure is expected to open in 2023.