Piece by Piece

by Darryl D. Matson, P.E., Sr. Bridge Engr.; Buckland & Taylor Ltd., North Vancouver, British Columbia,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2001, Vol. 71, Issue 5, Pg. 40-45

Document Type: Feature article


The Lions' Gate Suspension Bridge, a landmark structure in Vancouver, British Columbia, marks the entrance to one of the busiest harbors on the west coast of North America. The three-lane crossing accommodates approximately 70,000 vehicles a day. The bridge is undergoing a major renovation. The new suspended structure is designed to be installed in 20 m lengths, progressing from north to south, during closures between 8 P.M. and 6 A.M. and over a few weekends. Replacing the suspended structure in sections allows continued use of the bridge throughout the reconstruction during all peak periods. While the design significantly widened the bridge to provide safer traffic lane and sidewalk widths, added traffic barriers, and provided a proper wearing surface, the most challenging aspect was maintaining the same light weight in the new structure as in the existing one, which prevents deformations during construction. The cost of the reconstruction work on the bridge is estimated at Can$66 millionn (U.S.$44 million). The figure for the overall conntract, Can$86.5 million (U.S.$58 million), includes the additional work of widening a causeway road, installing a new drainage system, seismically upgrading the viaduct that forms the north approach, and replacing the electrical lane-control system.

Subject Headings: Suspended structures | Suspension bridges | Bridge design | Traffic safety | Traffic signals | Drainage systems | Electrical systems | Infrastructure construction | British Columbia | Canada | Vancouver | North America

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