VANCOUVER - Years of traffic mayhem and gridlock caused by construction should ease on Highway One east of Vancouver on Dec. 1.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says eight lanes of the ten-lane Port Mann Bridge, connecting Coquitlam to Surrey will open in just over two weeks, with tolling to begin on Dec. 8.

The bridge that spans the Fraser River has been under construction for more than four years and eastbound traffic has been using three lanes of the bridge since mid-September.

Westbound traffic will be shifted to the new bridge overnight on Saturday, but only two lanes will be moving until Dec. 1, when four westbound lanes will be opened.

That date also marks completion of interchange improvements and highway widening east of the bridge, including more than 20 kilometres of carpool-only lanes extending to Langley.

Cars and small trucks crossing the Port Mann will be electronically assessed an introductory $1.50 toll, but the levy will rise to $3.00 per crossing by next December, with varied rates applying to larger trucks and motorists using special passes.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said westbound traffic would be shifted to the new bridge Sept. 17

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