What’s the deal with bridges?
Why are some bridges run by MOT (Ministry of Transportation), others by Translink, and still others by municipalities? For example, why is Pattullo a Translink bridge and not an MOT bridge. You get the idea… Thanks!
This is an easy one.
Let’s start with the Major Provincial Highways. All bridges on those Highways are owned by the Province and managed by the Ministry of Transportation (or, more commonly, their contractors). Highway 1 includes the Port Mann and the Second Narrows; Highway 99 the Deas Tunnel, Oak and Lions Gate; Highway 91 the Alex Fraser (and with the qualifier 91A, the Queensborough); and Highway 7 the Pitt River.
At the other end of the scale are the bridges that were within a City and both feet land within the same municipality: the Burrard, Cambie and Granville within Vancouver and the Dinsmore, No 2 Road, and Moray/Sea Island within Richmond. These belong to the City and are maintained by the City (although through the Major Road Network, many of them get funding from TransLink to help pay for maintenance). The Granville is also part of Highway 99, so I would not be surprised if MOT pitches in some maintenance money there as well.
The Laing is the freak bridge, as it connects Vancouver to federal land on Sea Island, and is owned and operated by the Vancouver Airport Authority.
That leaves 3 bridges that connect two separate municipalities, yet do not carry a major highway: The Knight, the Pattullo, and the Golden Ears. When TransLink was formed in 1998 to manage all regional transportation in Greater Vancouver, these bridges (well, actually two of them and the Albion Ferry, which was replaced by the Golden Ears) that had no other category but huge maintenance costs were unceremoniously dumped on TransLink. The Province threw in the 100-year-old one-lane wooden Westham Island swing bridge for good measure, although it is wholly within Delta.