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Metro Vancouver Pattullo Bridge must be replaced or closed by 2023: report

Traffic crosses the Pattullo Bridge in New Westminster, B.C., on July 2, 2015.

Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

A report to Translink warns an aging bridge in Metro Vancouver may not be able to withstand an earthquake or even a powerful wind storm and must be replaced, or closed, in less than a decade.

The recommendations are contained in a report from Sany Zein, Translink's acting vice-president of Infrastructure,Management and Engineering.

The report says the 79-year-old Pattullo Bridge connecting Surrey and New Westminster, "represents TransLink's most urgent major infrastructure risk."

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It says a feasibility study is underway to determine if systems can provide advance warning of wind storms or earthquakes powerful enough to affect the bridge.

But Zein also warns that any upgrades would be technically challenging and too expensive for serious consideration.

The report says the lifespan of the bridge – which is used by more than 80,000 vehicles every day – is estimated at about seven years.

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