Sunday, June 14, 2009

11 Sail Waits!

A few days ago, I was headed out to Vancouver around 6:00pm. I caught a bit of the traffic report only to hear that there was an eleven sail wait on the Albion Ferry for commuters heading home after a long days work. Eleven sail waits is a mind numbing three hours of sitting in your car in Fort Langley waiting to get across the Fraser River to Maple Ridge.

After at least 3 years of road construction, the long awaited day is very near. The opening day of the Golden Crossing Bridge, which connects the City's of Maple Ridge and Langley. Gone will be those long ferry line-ups! For a measly $3.00 a person can zip across in 10 minutes flat.Who could possibly complain. $3.00 or 3 hours wait. Not a difficult choice for me.

Denbow Transport had a large part in the completion of the Bridge. Not with the actual construction, but with the 'Greening' up of the roadways all around the South end and the North end of the bridge deck.

Deadlines were fast approaching so I volunteered a Saturday to help Denbow meet the completion deadlines. It was a very long but well-spent day. It was the first time I got the experience the complexities of such a major project. My hat goes off to Chuck and Jared. I'm thinking that maybe some gray hairs came with this one!

On this Saturday I made history! I was the first truck driver that got to make a maiden voyage across the Golden Crossing Bridge from the Langley side to the Maple Ridge side. I had my camera handy, so of course I was busy snapping pictures while I was busy maneuvering the truck around the crews of people still working on the bridge deck.

After I dropped of the bark mulch, I thought that maybe I would make the attempt to head South over the bridge. I checked in with Chuck. He figured that it should be OK. So off I went. I followed the signs that said 'Hope', because that was the direction I needed to head to reload. I slowly made my way across the bridge deck, again maneuvering around the crews and finally made it to the South end.

Oh, oh. Houston, we had a problem. I made it to the very end of the off ramp only to come to... Concrete blockades. Immovable concrete blockades. I pulled the parking brake on the truck and got out. I stood beside the truck and actually brought my hand up to scratch my head in wonder. What the heck am I going to do now? I thought. After a few minutes of standing there, thinking that by some miracle those barricades would move, I finally made the only decision I could.

Time for a looooonnnnnggggg reverse. So, not only did I get the opportunity to drive across the Bridge, I also got the opportunity to back-up over the bridge! I found the whole thing a little humorous. Good thing I have no problems laughing at myself.
Our Express Blower trucks in action on the North side.
Wow, look at that bridge! It is an amazing site.

Approaching the middle of the bridge deck.

The above is a picture of the point where I could go no further. See where the road continues into four lanes. Not on this day!

Our Langley reload center is in the thick of things with the whole project. Our poor drivers had many long waits through the past few years of construction!

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