A delayed Canadian bridge project has reached a milestone as it tops off its 170m main tower, which will be the tallest bridge tower in the western province of British Columbia.

The new Pattullo suspension bridge will ultimately replace the old lower level crossing over the Fraser River between New Westminster and Surrey. The new four-lane bridge, which also has cycle and pedestrian lanes, will meet modern seismic and roadway standards, and has the potential for expansion to six lanes in future. It has fewer feet in the water than the present bridge, with two in-river piers, compared with six on the old bridge. This will reduce the impact on water habitats, and make the river easier to navigate.

The tower of the replacement Pattullo bridge rises out of the Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada. Credit: Government of British Columbia

The US$1 billion Pattullo Bridge project is overseen by Transportation Investment Corporation. The design and build contractor is Fraser Crossing partners (link opens in new tab). UK-based bridge works specialist Spencer Group has created the stay cable inspection system for the Pattullo Bridge (link opens in new tab).

The government of British Columbia has promised that the new bridge will be toll free and it will open in autumn 2025. The project started in February 2020 and has faced delays caused by inflationary pressure and supply chain issues.