Valley commuters pay for new highway
Editor: The situation on the Port Mann Bridge and Highway 1 feels like highway robbery to me.
I live in Langley and work in Burnaby and travel the bridge twice a day, as do quite a few people I work with. Many are really not happy about paying the bridge toll — now more than ever.
At this point I and many others are not getting to work any earlier on at least 95 per cent of our trips. The bottleneck has just moved from before the bridge to after it — starting at the Brunette off-ramp.
So why are we paying at this point? Basically I feel we should be refunded the money we’ve already paid.
All the construction work through the Burnaby stretch is not complete. If there isn’t a major improvement to the flow when that’s finished, then someone didn’t do their homework properly.
Also, try getting onto Lougheed Highway west via the Brunette off-ramp. It’s a joke — why no exit to the west straight after the bridge? You can only go east or to United.
All this is apart from the fact that it’s Highway 1. As far as I’ve heard, it’s owned by the federal government and we should not be paying for it at all.
If money is needed for such a large project, then every crossing should be tolled a small amount for any improvements.
In regards to the toll fee, has anyone looked into if the cost of the toll is based only on the cost of the new bridge itself, or is it based on the overall cost of the whole project?
There are improvements and off-ramps along the Coquitlam and Burnaby stretch. If people from here are paying for the whole thing with tolls, it’s a double whammy to anyone living on the Fraser Valley side of the bridge.
Everyone living in Coquitlam and Burnaby using all those new off-ramps and the widened highway are having us pay for it. They get the benefit for free.
I emailed our MLA Mary Polak weeks ago and you’d think there would be some sort of reply. Even an auto reply would have been appreciated. I finally heard back after sending you this letter.
Hopefully if enough people get up and say enough, then something will be done.
Editor’s note — The federal government contributes to maintaining Highway 1, but does not own it. As for what the tolls pay for, the province says the tolls go towards the cost of the overall project.