If you are one of the 80,000 commuters who cross the Pattullo Bridge to get to work, brace yourself: you may want to plan to work from home, time-shift or take a sick day on Monday. One of the trestles caught fire early this morning, and the bridge is closed to traffic until further notice.
“It’s heavily charred,” [TransLink spokesperson] Ken Hardie said. “When the blaze first broke out … reports were that there were flames shooting up from underneath the bridge on both sides.”
TransLink engineers are assessing the bridge’s structure, Hardie said, but the bridge will be closed to traffic in both directions until at least Monday.
“We have heard that the bridge will not be open on Monday morning. So that, immediately, is going to create a situation for some 80,000 vehicles that use the bridge on a daily basis,” Hardie said.
TransLink is working to provide public transit options, Hardie said, but commuters should expect delays Monday morning on the other three bridges that span the Fraser River: the Queensborough Bridge, the Alex Fraser Bridge and the Port Mann Bridge.
As the article mentions, the other bridges that cross the Fraser are expected to be congested on Monday, and I would imagine SkyTrain and related buses will also be busy.
UPDATE: One of our readers responded via Twitter with an update on the situation on Sunday afternoon:
You have been warned.