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Is Worth going another route to avoid Port Mann Bridge?

Canmore, Alberta
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Is Worth going another route to avoid Port Mann Bridge?

Hello,

We will be trying to get to our final destination of downtown Vancouver this coming Saturday. I would estimate we will be in the Abbotsford area around 3pm. We will be driving hwy 1 from the east.

We just did the same trip less then a month ago. We arrived on Sunday at approx. 6pm in the Abbotsford area. We thought for sure on a Sunday and at that time we would have missed most of the traffic. We couldn't believe how long we sat not moving and even when we did it was at a crawl, but I'm sure I don't have to inform anyone of this that lives in the area.

On Saturday with our estimated time of 3pm in the Abbotsford area, how bad will it be? Is it worth going a different route, or will it take longer to use other options such as the Lougheed Hwy or by going through Langley.

If there is an option that will be significantly quicker can you please give us directions where to get off Hwy 1. My husband knows his way around Vancouver fairly well, but not well enough to know if an alternate route would make it any faster.

Thanks in advance.

Nanaimo, Canada
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1. Re: Is Worth going another route to avoid Port Mann Bridge?

It is a mess, and it won't be any better for a LOOOOONG time yet! You can always get off in Surrey and use Pattullo Bridge, but the exit you need is so close to the Port Mann Bridge, you will be stuck in traffic anyway!

What about getting off in Langley, use Highway #10 to 99 and go in that way?? What part of Vancouver are you heading for???

I think part of the problem is that people are slowing down on the bridge to take a look at the NEW bridge going up. Also, the last three times we have gone over the bridge going east, the lane we need for exiting the freeway into Surrey has changed... the right lane, the left lane, and the last time, it was back to the right lane again. You really need to have your wits about you and that might be another issue. Lots more tourists will be on the highways in another couple of weeks right through until September now too.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Is Worth going another route to avoid Port Mann Bridge?

Hi travelbug1999 ~

Theoretically it could be slow going, with people coming into town for Saturday night. You just never know. It's not so much the construction of the Port Mann Bridge. I've never really found that a problem. It just depends on whether there's a concert or event in the evening at GM place or somewhere that draws people from the suburbs. Although there doesn't seem to be anything scheduled on Ticketmaster for this Saturday at GM Place or BC Place. And 176th which comes up from Surrey and the Truck Crossing at the border has a major access point at Hwy 1. This is the place I often find a bottleneck. And trust me, you think getting over into the left lane would be faster there, but because everyone else does that too, the right lane ends up being faster!!

You could cross the Fraser on the Abbotsford Mission Bridge.

You could go north on 200th St in Langley and over the Golden Ears toll bridge (records your plate electronically and sends you the bill.)

Both the above would get you to Hwy 7, the Lougheed. Other than taking Hwy 7 right from Hope, those are the only two crossings before the Port Mann.

AM730 is our traffic and weather station. You can get reception to some point out in the Valley. Keep track of what they report about the Port Mann and make your decision then.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Is Worth going another route to avoid Port Mann Bridge?

Hmm, I'm not sure I would agree completely with it being a mess generally. I've gone out there a couple of times in the last month and gone along at 90 km/h before the bridge, over the bridge and up the hill. Lucky time of day, perhaps because it can be congested westbound right back to 200th in Langley.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Is Worth going another route to avoid Port Mann Bridge?

I commuted that way home from work in the 90s and the Sunday evening traffic was notorious! Its always a log jam with people coming back into town from a weekend away. Saturdays was usually better.

I don't feel like publicly sharing my short cut, or it becomes overused and the city finds ways to shut it down. However, the Golden Ears Bridge into Maple Ridge and on to highway 7 can be a big time saver for less than $4. Definitely worth it if the traffic is backed up to 200th or beyond.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Is Worth going another route to avoid Port Mann Bridge?

Personally, I avoid the #1 if I can. There is not good time to drive it right now. I'd cross from Abbotsford to Mission and take Highway 7 (the Lougheed Highway) until past the Port Mann bridge. If you're travelling with more than one person, you can jump in the HOV lane just past the Port Mann and save some time. With the new(ish) Pitt River bridge Hwy 7 is the better option.

Vancouver, B.C.
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6. Re: Is Worth going another route to avoid Port Mann Bridge?

I've driven on it a few times the past few months and it wasn't bad at all. Even around 3PM on a weekday, I probably only waited a couple minutes before getting onto the bridge deck. Besides 730AM you can also tune into 1130AM.

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Is Worth going another route to avoid Port Mann Bridge?

I just drove Hwy 1 for ~15 km about 3 hours ago. I shared the whole way with 1 semi trailer and about 10 cars. After a few minutes, just 10 cars.

Vancouver, B.C.
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8. Re: Is Worth going another route to avoid Port Mann Bridge?

I wouldn't detour to Hwy 7 through Mission, Poco and Coquitlam. It's slow. The Port Mann does have backups on a saturday, but it shouldn't be bad unless there is an accident. Tune into AM radio 730 or News1130. They have frequent updates on the Port Mann.

Less than a month ago was the Cloverdale Rodeo. You may have been caught up in the traffic jam for it heading back into Vancouver.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Is Worth going another route to avoid Port Mann Bridge?

Agreed. Don't jump the gun and get off before you hit the jam. Just know what your options are and once you hit the back of the line you can decide if its just worth sticking it out or detouring.

10. Re: Is Worth going another route to avoid Port Mann Bridge?

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