RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) — Whether it will be a bridge or new tunnel replacing the ageing Massey crossing is still up in the air, with the newly-appointed transportation minister saying he can’t confirm if anything will be built within a decade.
A business case for the Massey Tunnel replacement project was promised by the BC NDP this fall, but nothing has been made public yet and likely won’t be soon. However, Rob Fleming says the government will be seeing the details in a few days.
“I’m going to have to review the business case to see what the experts have to say,” he says.
Factors the business case will present will help determine whether a bridge or tunnel is the best option. Fleming explains cost, environmental impacts, as well as preferences of mayors will also be addressed.
“We know we need to relieve congestion,” he tells NEWS 1130. “We need an infrastructure project that is going to lead us into the future in the region. We’re also looking for a partnership with Ottawa on what is a critically important trade corridor and piece of infrastructure for our entire regional economy.”
He says the replacement needs attention from all levels of government. However, Fleming wasn’t able to provide a timeline without reviewing the business case when asked if commuters could expect anything within the next 10 years.
So, it will still take some time before commuters will know how their route will be impacted.
Fleming wasn’t able to weigh in on the potential cost yet either.
The mayors of Richmond and Delta have both stressed the need to get the project going soon.
Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie pointed to the snap election as the reason the business case was behind in October. However, Fleming insists the provincial vote didn’t cause any delays to the project.
In the new year, the province plans to speak with stakeholders, including mayors and First Nations, to help decide on the investment, Fleming says.