Alex Fraser Bridge

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Alex Fraser Bridge
Alex Fraser Bridge, looking southbound from Annacis Island.
Coordinates49°09′35″N 122°56′34″W / 49.1598°N 122.9428°W / 49.1598; -122.9428Coordinates: 49°09′35″N 122°56′34″W / 49.1598°N 122.9428°W / 49.1598; -122.9428
CarriesSix lanes of British Columbia Highway 91, pedestrians and bicycles
CrossesSouth Arm Fraser River
LocaleDelta, BC
Maintained byBritish Columbia Ministry of Transportation
Designcable-stayed bridge
MaterialSteel & Reinforced concrete
Total length2,525 m (8,284 ft)
Width32 m (105 ft)
Height154 m (505 ft)
Longest span465 m (1,526 ft)
Clearance below57 m (187 ft)
DesignerBuckland & Taylor
Construction start1983
Construction cost$58 million
OpenedSeptember 22, 1986
Daily traffic119,000 [1]

The Alex Fraser Bridge (also known as the Annacis Bridge) is a cable-stayed bridge over the Fraser River that connects Richmond and New Westminster with North Delta in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia. The bridge is named for Alex Fraser (1916 – 1989), a former British Columbia Minister of Transportation.

Alex Fraser Bridge is located in Vancouver
Alex Fraser Bridge
Location in Metro Vancouver

The bridge was the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world when it opened on September 22, 1986, and was the longest in North America until the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge opened in 2005. As of 2009 it is the 32nd-longest cable-stayed bridge in the world, and second-longest in North America. It is 2,525 m (8,284 ft) long with a main span of 465 m (1,526 ft). The towers are 154 m (505 ft) tall.[3] It consists of six lanes, three in each direction, and has a maximum speed limit of 90 km per hour. Upon opening in 1986, only four of the six available lanes were open. Cyclists and pedestrians share two narrow side-walks one on each side. All six lanes opened in 1987 after traffic demand justified the need.[4]

The bridge's southern end is in North Delta and its northern end is on Delta's Annacis Island. Connections on its southern end lead to Blaine, Washington and to White Rock. The connections on the northern end lead into the cities of New Westminster, Richmond, and Burnaby, and on into Vancouver itself. It is a major artery in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

The bridge was constructed for the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and was designed by a joint venture of Klohn Crippen Berger and Buckland & Taylor (Now COWI North America). Its total cost was $58 million.

According to an announcement on January 19, 2017, a new lane will be added on the bridge by slightly narrowing the existing lanes and removing the shoulders. A counterflow system with movable barrier will be added to help ease traffic during morning and afternoon rush hours. This will be a joint venture by the provincial and federal government. Construction is slated to be completed as of spring 2018.[5]

In December 2016 the Alex Fraser Bridge along with the Port Mann Bridge dropped "ice bombs," also called "slush bombs" on vehicles causing damage to windshields. The Alex Fraser has the cables along the sides of the driving lanes where as the Port Mann has them cross over-top of the driving lanes. In addition to 2016, this also happened on the Alex Fraser in 2005, 2008, and 2012.[6] The Alex Fraser needed to be closed a few times during December 2016 due to the possibility of ice bombs; this caused major traffic problems in the region.[7] To combat this issue, the BC Government announced that a heavy lift helicopter will be used to blow snow and ice off the cables to prevent it from accumulating and falling onto the cars below.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Alex Fraser Bridge Improvement Project
  2. ^ Alex Fraser Bridge ‹See Tfd›(in English), ‹See Tfd›(in French), ‹See Tfd›(in German)
  3. ^ Buckland & Taylor project page, lists design facts about the bridge
  4. ^ [1], The History of Metropolitan Vancouver – 1986 chronology
  5. ^ Judd, Amy. "New lane to be added to Alex Fraser Bridge by narrowing existing lanes". Global News. Retrieved 2017-02-18.
  6. ^ Saltman, ,Jennifer. "Massey Tunnel replacement won't have ice bombs: B.C. government". Archived from the original on 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  7. ^ Tufnail, Tracey; Network, Postmedia. "Ice bombs force Alex Fraser Bridge in Vancouver to close". Toronto Sun. Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  8. ^ "Helicopter to prevent snow, ice bombs falling on vehicles from Alex Fraser Bridge". Vancouver Sun. 2016-12-17. Retrieved 2017-02-27.