Drivers who use a key merging lane to access the new Port Mann Bridge won’t be able to access the HOV discount, CTV News has learned.

Motorists who are registered to the Treo program and cross the bridge with two or more occupants in their vehicle are entitled to a 25 per cent discount during peak periods.

But to qualify, they have to be in the HOV lane when they pass the bridge’s scanners – a feat that’s impossible to do after approaching the bridge from 152 Street.

Max Logan of the Highway 1 Improvement Project said the bridge was designed that way to alleviate congestion.

“152 Street, where it meets Highway 1 at the east end of the Port Mann Bridge, has traditionally been the worst traffic bottleneck in the Lower Mainland,” Logan said.

Designers placed an HOV-only entrance and exit a few blocks away, at 156 Street, and anyone who wants to get the discount must use it.

“HOV drivers are in fact going to find that that’s a much more efficient and faster way on and off the highway,” Logan said.

The bridge, which has been under construction for more than four years, opens fully on Dec. 1. Tolling begins on Dec. 8.

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s St. John Alexander