DELTA (NEWS 1130) — While it isn’t clear if the B.C. election will result in delays to the replacement project, mayors on either side of the Massey Tunnel are pushing for details from the province.
The NDP government has said details about the replacement would be released sometime this fall, but the mayors of Richmond and Delta say now is the time to start on the project as they wait for more information.
Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie says if it wasn’t for the election, it is likely the business case would have already been presented.
“Whether it’s a bridge, whether it’s a tunnel, whether it’s twinning the existing tunnel, upgrading it, or whatever, everybody recognizes that it is a real priority and we need to get moving and continue the momentum,” he says.
Brodie says he is open to hearing the preferred option put forward by the province.
“Had we not had the election, I would’ve expected that business case to already have been presented.”@MalcolmBrodie believes #BCvotes2020 delayed the #MasseyTunnel business case, but he hopes to see it before the end of 2020. pic.twitter.com/FfskYXwRU2
— Tim James (@_TimJames) October 30, 2020
Delta Mayor George Harvie says he expects to see the project’s business case in the coming weeks.
“We’ll just keep pushing it,” Harvie says. “It has to have action now. We can’t wait for this to stir around and get involved in another election four years down the road. It needs to be replaced now.”
Harvie says he and Brodie are committed to getting the project moving.
As for the project’s timeline, the Ministry of Transportation, in an email to NEWS 1130, explains it’s in a caretaker mode right now and can’t comment further because “all government of B.C. communications are limited to health and public safety information, as well as statutory requirements.”
All the mail-in ballots from the election still need to be counted, then a new government will be sworn in around mid-November.
Claire Trevena, the former transport minister, was one of the seven NDP cabinet members who did not seek reelection.
On Sept. 18, prior to the snap election being called, the province announced it was “identifying property necessary for future infrastructure improvements on Highway 99 near the George Massey Tunnel,” while the business case was being completed.