Loading articles...

Massey tunnel commuters must wait at least a year for final approval of replacement

Last Updated Nov 4, 2019 at 6:13 pm PDT

FILE - Massey Tunnel traffic backed up on May 6, 2015. (NEWS 1130 file photo)
Summary

It's already been more than two years since a ten-lane bridge was cancelled

Critics, including the Surrey Board of Trade, believe a bridge is still the best choice

The bridge already under construction in 2017 had a price tag of $3.5-billion

RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) – It will take several months to finalize plans for a new crossing to replace the aging George Massey tunnel which links Delta with Richmond.

It’s already been more than two years since a ten-lane bridge, previously approved by the former BC Liberal government was cancelled by the province.

Metro Vancouver Board Chair Sav Dhaliwal admits the process has been frustrating, but he says updated plans for an eight-lane, immersed tunnel make more sense.


“Metro Vancouver had studied the previous plan for the bridge and that plan wasn’t in line with our vision of the region. Metro was very clear, but there was hardly any consultation prior to the announcement.”

Critics, including the Surrey Board of Trade, believe a bridge is still the best choice, but Dhaliwal –who’s a city councillor in Burnaby– says this new plan is the best way to ease congestion along Highway 99.

“Our part is now done, other than to now work with the province, with some of the other conditions that we think would be good, so we’re hoping that the province will take this recommendation and start to the next phase.”

The bridge already under construction in 2017 had a price tag of $3.5-billion.


Dhaliwal tells NEWS 1130 it’s not clear exactly how much this new project will cost.

“We were told that whether it’s a bridge or a tunnel, it’s pretty equivalent in terms of the cost.  It depends on what comes out of the environmental review and what the prices are going to be –of the day.  So, it’s the province’s project.  They will be funding it.”

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena has confirmed the business case should be finalized this time next year.

An environmental review of how this new crossing impacts the Fraser River must also be done.