December 2014

Port Mann Bridge, Local 97: In with the New… Out with the Old

After the successful erection of the new Port Mann Bridge in 2012, Local 97 (Vancouver, British Columbia) was then hired by Kiewit for the demolition of the old bridge, which was built in 1962. 

The old bridge consisted of three spans with an orthotropic deck carrying five lanes of Trans-Canada Highway traffic. The total length of the previous Port Mann Bridge was 2,093 metres (6,867 feet), including approach spans. The main span was 366 metres (1,201 feet), plus the two 110 metres (360 feet) spans on either side.

Ironworkers took on the dangerous task of cutting apart the old bridge and welding all the anchorage points and bracing. Craig Stevenson, welding foreman, had a crew of eight guys putting in long days for over seven months (85 percent of the welds were full pen using NR 232 wire). General Foreman Corey McFarlane praised all the crews saying that this job has been a real challenge but everyone has stepped up and brought their “A game” to make the Iron Workers proud. 

The fact that this bridge was built at a time when Local 97 was experiencing full employment brought some challenges but the Iron Workers managed to keep the job on schedule. 

Foreman Ken Bolton stated he had to be extra diligent as he had a blend of apprentices on his crew “who all wanted to be part of this historical teardown.”

Local 97 is very proud of the crew’s commitment to ‘safety’ on this very intense and hazardous project. 

This unique project is yet another example of a remarkable achievement accomplished by the Iron Workers.