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Massey Tunnel Replacement Breaks Ground

Massey tunnel

photo: TranBC / Flickr

The George Massey Tunnel was once one of the most important components of the regional transportation network, carrying 80,000 vehicles each day on an average, all until the Province of British Columbia decided to construct a replacement crossing to cater to the growing demand and avoid dealing with the current structure’s declining lifespan.


Unfortunately, this hasn’t gone down very well with the general public that believes the $3.5-billion bridge is a “major waste” of taxpayer’s money. Metro Vancouver mayors openly voiced their disapproval of the project last summer, pointing out that the bridge was “car-oriented” and ate into the funds for public transit and other priorities. A pre-election photo-op to rejoice the start of the construction was to take place on Wednesday, with several local politicians and supporters of the mega project in attendance.

RELATED: Richmond Mayor Voices Fears For Massey Tunnel Replacement

They had a backhoe ready to break ground, but CBC reports that the event did not go as planned for B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone as he was delayed, ironically, by traffic on the Massey Tunnel while protesters with placards and megaphones took the stage to mock him for figuratively handing over a “blank cheque” to Port Metro Vancouver by means of literally imitating the same. The event was forced to move to a fire hall nearby.


Stone claimed that while the protesters have the rights to make their views known, there is also a widespread public support for the new bridge. He recognizes his duty to do what he believes is “in the best interests of British Columbians” and adds that the bridge is a “critical piece of infrastructure” to him. He went on to describe the lengths he had gone to, to make it possible, by almost half a decade’s worth of consultations with the First Nations, and municipal and regional governments, while also completing a lot of technical work that had to be in place before construction began.

CBC also reported that although the event was filed as “the start of construction”, major contracts with regard to it are yet to be awarded. According to a government release, less than one per cent of the overall project has been awarded to two Surrey companies that are preparing the site for work at about $17.3 million.

The major construction contract is to be awarded later this season.



Written by: Tejaswini Kumar

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