The Port Mann Bridge. (TI Corp)

Traffic dips by nearly 50% on some Lower Mainland crossings amid pandemic

Crossings dropped by between 31 and 49 per cent

The number of vehicles driving across Lower Mainland crossings has dropped by more than 30 per cent over the course of the COVID-19 crisis, traffic data from the B.C. transportation ministry shows.

The biggest drop in traffic, percentage wise, was seen at the Lions Gate Bridge where it dropped by 49 per cent, down to 30,700 per day in April 2020 compared to 60,133 in 2019.

Similar drops were seen at the Oak Street and the George Massey Tunnel, with 48 and 49 per cent decreases in daily traffic, respectively. The Massey tunnel saw traffic drop from 85,520 in April 2019 to 45,420 the same month this year.

The Pattullo Bridge, which is managed by TransLink, saw a 47 per cent drop in traffic between April 2019 and April 2020. On April 15, 2019, 67,241 vehicles crossed the Pattullo Bridge, compared to 35,402 on April 20, 2020. TransLink said the Golden Ears bridge had a 30 per cent drop in traffic, down to 41,673 daily vehicles in April 2020 from 59,201 the same month in 2019.

The Port Mann Bridge saw traffic drop by 36 per cent, from 152,526 to 96,916. Traffic across the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge fell by 31 per cent from 122,752 to 84,405.

According to the transportation ministry, traffic counter loops on the Alex Fraser Bridge were decommissioned in March 2018, so no data exists from that time until January 2020.

The traffic data correlates with figures released by Statistics Canada from the end of March. While the agency did not have April figures available, it found that an extra 4.7 million Canadians worked from home during the week of March 22–28, compared to usual pre-pandemic figures.

Data from the Alex Fraser for April 2019 was not available due to construction on the bridge at the time.

READ MORE: Business case for Massey Tunnel replacement expected by fall


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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