DELTA (NEWS 1130) — The pandemic will not affect replacement of the Massey Tunnel and the timeline has not changed, according to the transportation minister.
Delta South MLA Ian Paton, however, questions how the provincial government will pay for the project.
“I can almost assure you that they will now find reasons to say, ‘Gosh, we just don’t have money now to be playing around with the future of the George Massey Tunnel,'” he said.
Transportation Minister Claire Trevena, though, said the province will have money for the project.
Could COVID-19 delay the #MasseyTunnel replacement?
•Traffic down 37% (story: https://t.co/ia6E9Dmtba)
•Fewer flights at YVR (https://t.co/0Hug4QXtQy)
•More people WFH (https://t.co/QRhL4RZS1d)
•Cost of BC's COVID-19 response (https://t.co/dvwHQq09WC) pic.twitter.com/dsdYfFiR9k
— Tim James (@_TimJames) May 20, 2020
“We’re looking to the federal government for assistance on this,” she added, “but this is a major capital investment and that we’re committed to making sure does happen.”
She said to expect a business case for the replacement project in the fall.
The consensus is for an eight-lane tunnel.
But during the pandemic, with more people working from home, there are fewer vehicles are on the roads.
Traffic at the tunnel is currently down 37 per cent compared to the same time last year.
“This doesn’t mean we don’t need to have that crossing fixed,” Trevena said.
“We’re working on the same timelines.”
Paton said if the Massey Bridge was approved, rather than canceled, it would have been built by now.
It has been more than two years since the 10-lane bridge replacement project was canceled.