Hmm…the chaos didn’t happen? I’m not totally surprised. If people know that they are forced to take an alternative, they will do whatever they can to take that alternative. It certainly seems like volumes are heavier at major chokepoints like the Highway 1 exit to Guildford and surrounding environs, the Alex Fraser Bridge, and the George Massey Tunnel. The SkyTrain is so far remarkably unaffected. Probably because the people who used the Patullo Bridge can’t get to where they need to be via the SkyTrain.
People have likely switched to carpooling or have decided to avoid the major rush hour times to get around. Time will tell, but people will learn to adjust to the reduced capacity. Ever more reason not to twin the Port Mann and provide better alternatives to the single-occupancy vehicle.
I don’t forsee huge ongoing traffic chaos. Things will be slower; that’s for sure. However, people will definitely be forced to move around differently than before. I’d also say that they will have to get used to it. The Patullo will likely be out longer than what officials say. An old bridge like that must have some other problems that will keep it from re-opening quickly.