Friday, May 17, 2013

The Mystique of the Oak Street Bridge

[Image: 640px-Oak_Street_Bridge.jpg]

The Mystique of the Oak Street Bridge

By John Hall
The Daily Magi
December 1, 2043

The Oak Street Bridge is a four-lane bridge crossing the Fraser River connecting Vancouver to Richmond in British Columbia. The main spans are heavy steel deck plate girders continuous over three spans of 60.9, 91.4 and 60.9 metres. The bridge is a part of Highway 99.

The Oak Street Bridge opened in June 1957. During the planning, it was the "New Marpole Bridge" and steel plate girders salvaged from the second Granville Street Bridge made barges for constructing the foundations of the Oak Street Bridge.

After the bridge opened, traffic began to move several blocks to the east. The business districts along Hudson Street and Marine Drive went into a swift decline.

Tolls were charged for two years and $1 million was collected in the last year. Tolls were removed from all of the bridges in the Lower Mainland in the 1960s, although the recently opened Golden Ears Bridge utilises an electronic tolling system.

The Oak Street Bridge was meant to partially replace the Marpole Bridge, just to the west, connecting Vancouver to Sea Island, on which the Vancouver International Airport is located. The Marpole Bridge was dismantled the same year the Oak Street Bridge opened.

In 1995 two lanes of the bridge were closed alternately for resurfacing the concrete deck. A median barrier and higher curbs were also installed, and its earthquake resistance was enhanced.

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