Knocking down the Lions Gate Bridge

The bridge from the north shore of the Burrard InletBy the mid-1990s, the Lions Gate Bridge was rusting badly. Just three lanes wide, one  of only two routes into the City of Vancouver from the north, it was often congested.  British Columbia’s Premier of the day, Glen Clark, looked at the options and approved the destruction of the 1930s-era iron bridge and its replacement with a new, bigger  crossing.

Lions Gate Bridge detail, seen from the east side of the deckI’ve worked on road and bridge projects that turned out well, but this was not one of them.  We had done an opinion survey, and as I remember the results were quite cheerful. Three quarters of respondents across Metro Vancouver were prepared to support a four-lane bridge with tolls, including half the respondents in the City.  However, as soon as the project team was settled into offices on West Georgia Street, that support melted away. Continue reading