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Local Mayors Trying To Bring Massey Tunnel Replacement Project Back To Life

Massey Tunnel

Photo: ProvinceofBC / YouTube

For a while it looked like a new bridge wasn’t going to replace the congested Massey Tunnel.

Back in November, B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena met with Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie and city staff to discuss a report put together by the BC government.

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The report hinted that the BC NDP wasn’t interested in moving forward with a 10-lane bridge.

However, there still might be some hope.

A group of Metro Vancouver mayors have agreed that a Massey Tunnel replacement is needed, writing a letter to Premier John Horgan.

The letter is signed by City of Delta Mayor George Harvie, City of Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, City of Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, City of Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart, and City of White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker.

In addition, the five mayors have the support of First Nation Chiefs.


Agreement on Issues To Be Addressed

According to the letter, a consensus was reached on the following issues:

  • The project should address First Nation concerns regarding in-river works and fisheries impacts.
  • The project should not create additional potentially costly, lengthy or prohibitive environmental challenges or reviews.
  • The project should address the City of Richmond and Delta’s concerns regarding local impacts at interchanges or access points, as well as minimize impacts on agricultural land.
  • To fully realize the benefit of this significant investment, the entire Highway 99 corridor should be evaluated for improvements as part of the crossing project including the existing congestion at the South Surrey interchanges.
  • The project should address the City of Richmond and Vancouver’s concerns regarding excess capacity, the risk of increasing vehicle kilometres travelled, and the potential to worsen congestion at the Oak Street Bridge and along the Oak Street corridor.
  • The crossing should be designed to serve the needs of the region to at least 2100.
  • The crossing should include six lanes for regular traffic including goods movement and two lanes dedicated for rapid transit bus, with dedicated facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, and include immediate access to enhanced rapid transit capacity at opening. It should also have the potential for conversion to rail in the future, including consideration for potential high speed rail.
  • As it is now, all utility infrastructure, including BC Hydro power transmission lines, should be constructed underground in conjunction with the tunnel.
  • Any solution must address the matter in a timely manner, hopefully with construction completed by 2025-2026.

Massey Tunnel Replacement

Construction on the $3.5-billion dollar bridge was started in 2017 when the B.C. Liberals were still in power. However, when the NDP came in, all work was halted and engineer Stan Cowdell was hired to reevaluate if the tunnel needed to be replaced in the first place.

Below is a video that goes through the new bridge concept that could replace the tunnel:

While there is little doubt that the Massey tunnel needs to be upgraded, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena has argued in the past that there needs to be further investigation into whether the 10-lane bridge is truly the best solution.


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