Fabulous Fridays: You've Just Bought a 10-lane Monster

I love keeping an ear on the news on Friday afternoons - that's when the stories the newsmakers would rather you just forgot about are released to the media. By the time anyone's paying attention, it's old news.

So, you might not have noticed that the Port Mann P3 deal is dead, and you'll be taking on the risk and paying for the whole shebang.

That the deal was looking shaky has been on the edges of the news for weeks, I even mentioned the Macquarie group's precarious position here, and now they have officially backed out. Maybe the recent protests outside their offices freaked them out?

Kevin Falcon: "If we can't get the value we need to have in a deal like this through the private financing arm, we have the option of moving forward ourselves, and that's exactly what we have done".

Any chance the plan will revert to the original twinning plan, out of prudence in 'these uncertain economic times'? No, the big new 10-laner is too big and shiny. Never mind that the main reason previously given for changing the plan to the single 10-lane bridge was to appease concerns the Macquarie Group was having about dumping a lot of money into an old, depreciating asset:

Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon said the government’s private partners — consortium Connect BC Development Group, a group that features Australian-based Macquarie Group — believed it would be cheaper and save on maintenance costs to build a new bridge.
“They didn’t want to be pouring money into aging infrastructure,” Falcon said, adding that in 40 years the existing Port Mann Bridge will be older than the Pattullo Bridge is now. “There will be savings over time.”

BC owns that asset, so even if you like the Gateway Plan, the most prudent way to go forward would be to get the next 35 years out of that asset and twin the bridge.

It's really sad that I'm actually arguing that twinning was a good idea. Only in relation to the sheer waste of this. Light rail should take up the 5th lane of the current bridge, but never mind that. NUTTER

>> excellent image by sethoglesby