Three eastbound lanes are slated to open on the new Port Mann Bridge on Sept. 18 as traffic is gradually reconfigured in a series of steps this fall.

Three eastbound lanes are slated to open on the new Port Mann Bridge on Sept. 18 as traffic is gradually reconfigured in a series of steps this fall.

Sept. 18 set for first crossings of new Port Mann

Three eastbound bridge lanes open amid Cape Horn interchange work

The first motorists will cross the new Port Mann Bridge on Sept. 18 as three eastbound Highway 1 lanes open across the new span.

The transition comes amid a host of other big changes drivers are being warned to expect this month.

Just before the partial opening of the bridge, the Lougheed Highway eastbound will shift to a new final alignment south of Highway 1 on Sept. 16.

Then on Sept. 19 a new overpass will open carrying westbound bridge traffic to Lougheed Highway eastbound.

And over the Sept. 22-23 weekend crews are to complete and open another new overpass – the longest in the $3.3-billion Port Mann/Highway 1 project – connecting Lougheed Highway westbound to Highway 1 eastbound.

That’s just part of the complex array of work underway around the Cape Horn Interchange.

“Reconstructing the Cape Horn Interchange is a megaproject within the Port Mann/Highway 1 megaproject, and a crucial part of the solution to our congestion problems,” Transportation Investment Corp. CEO Mike Proudfoot said.

“Over the coming weeks, drivers are going to see big changes as the project’s most technically challenging components come together in a hurry.”

Cape Horn is the most comprehensive interchange reconstruction in B.C. history and includes 15 new ramps, structures and direct connections.

The staged opening of the interchange and the new 10-lane bridge are aimed at avoiding much worse traffic delays than motorists will already face.

Eight lanes of the new Port Mann Bridge are to open in December, when the tolls will also take effect, and three rebuilt interchanges between 160 Street in Surrey and Cape Horn in Coquitlam will also open by then.

The full 10 lanes will open later after the old bridge is dismantled.

The provincial government is also slated to release its tolling framework this month, potentially with lower introductory tolls than the $3 per crossing previously announced.

For more on the changes see http://www.pmh1project.com.

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