NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS1130) – The Pattullo Bridge is closed to all traffic until early Monday morning.

It’s the first of three planned weekend closures as TransLink shores up the aging 76-year-old span.

The bridge isn’t coming down but the work is necessary to keep it drivable for the next three or four years, according to lead engineer Bob Moore.

“It can lead to structural problems if you don’t keep addressing it. As I say we’re doing our due diligence to maintain it as well as possible so that we don’t get to the point where we have structural problems.”

Moore says the actual problems with the bridge are typical of a structure that age and that there are no glaring structural weaknesses right now.

“It’s what we call de-lamination of the concrete. So there’s a small void that occurs between the rebar and the concrete and eventually, some parts of the concrete pop off.”

Construction crews will systematically grind and fill any potholes on the bridge deck as well as the cement curbs during the closures.

They’ll also patch and repair chipped concrete and exposed rebar from underneath the bridge.

Moore says all work needed to be completed before the winter.

The total cost for the work on the bridge deck is expected to be around $250,000.

The bridge is expected to re-open in time for rush hour Monday morning.