Knight Street is one of Vancouver’s major arteries that runs north-south from Richmond to the north of Vancouver where it turns into Clark Drive. Knight Street was formally Knight Road and was named after Robert Knight who was a prominent local figure in the late 19th century.
It turns into a bridge then highway from Westminster Highway in Richmond to Marine Drive to Vancouver. Knight Street Bridge, east of Arthur Lang and Oak Street Bridge, serves as an alternate route into Richmond. Knight Street also provides access to Mitchell Island.
The bridge was built to accommodate the growing Vancouver population and replace the Fraser Street Bridge that was built in 1905. The bridge is 1,436 meters long and carries six lanes of traffic north, while the southern section has four lanes. Knight Street Bridge took five years to build and electrical cables were installed to reduce the risk of ice accumulating and falling on passing cars. The bridge also has a water and gas pipe built into it, bringing both to Mitchell Island. The bridge cost $15 million and opened in 1974. Afterwards, the old Fraser Bridge was torn down.
Knight Street is the busiest truck route in Vancouver and is the only officially designated highway in Vancouver that is not part of a provincial roadway. It is funded by TransLink, which provides the maintenance and funding for the street.
Knight Street has become a favourite area for late-night street racers as it provides a long straight roadway. For this reason and the heavy commercial use, Knight Street ranks among the top ten vehicle crash sites in all of B.C. The Marine Drive intersections is one of the deadliest in the province.
In 200, a barge transporting a mobile crane struck the underside of the bridge causing damage. The bridge was closed for two days and water supply to Mitchell Island was shut down. The incident caused Richmond City to install a second pipeline to the Island.