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Massey Tunnel replacement bridge could come with high cost to taxpayers: Metro Vancouver

Last Updated Jul 2, 2016 at 10:12 am PDT

George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project: Bridge Rendering. (Source: gov.bc.ca)

Metro Vancouver is asking the federal government for an environmental assessment

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If the province moves forward with building a bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel between Richmond and Delta, it could potentially cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. At least that’s what the agency overseeing our region believes.

Metro Vancouver has a few beefs with the government’s plan and one of the key ones surrounds the environment.

Metro Vancouver Utilities Chair Darrell Mussatto fears regional utilities would be greatly impacted if it’s decided the Fraser River is dredged. “We have some very significant infrastructure that would have to be replaced and that could cost us anywhere from $500 million to over a $1 billion in costs should we have to relocate those utilities, so there are some very significant impacts.”

“At the north end of Highway 99 where it meets the Oak Street Bridge, there is very significant infrastructure there for our water and waste-water lines and those would also be impacted quite significantly.”

Metro Vancouver is asking the federal government for an environmental assessment.

The province says the tunnel is nearing the end of its life and to make things efficient it needs to be replaced sooner than later.

Construction on the 10-lane tolled bridge is set to get underway next year at a cost of $3.5 billion.