Are you part of the large majority of British Columbians who support responsible development? Sign up for updates to major projects, and join our community that is helping get projects to Yes.
Sign up for access to major project updates and receive petitions that need your signature!
A new bridge would be safer and less costly to build, with less impact to the environment.
The George Massey Bridge
In 2013, the BC Liberal government announced plans to replace the George Massey Tunnel with a bridge. Just as construction of the new span between Delta and Richmond was about to start in 2017, the new NDP government killed the project, claiming it needed more study. However, the Massey Bridge is one of the most studied projects in B.C. history, with more than 14,000 pages of review already done.
What is the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project?
Under the previous BC Liberal government, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure had developed plans to replace the existing George Massey Tunnel with a new, $3.5-billion bridge along the Highway 99 corridor. This project was in response to growing concerns about the impact of congestion at this crossing, and recognized that the existing tunnel has about 10 years of useful life remaining before major components will need to be completely replaced.
Construction was supposed to start in 2017 – but the new NDP government killed it, citing the need for more review.
Why does the George Massey Tunnel need replacing?
The existing tunnel is over capacity during the morning and evening rush hours and close to capacity throughout the day. Rush hour queues frequently extend from 1.5 to 5 kilometres.
The existing tunnel has about 10 years of useful life remaining before major components will need to be completely replaced. Additionally, while the tunnel remains safe for all users, it does not meet modern seismic standards. The Ministry completed a limited seismic retrofit program in 2006, which included structural repairs to tunnel walls and some upgrades to ventilation systems, emergency pumps and power systems. An early warning system was installed to alert drivers in the event of significant seismic activity.
Why build a new bridge?
Consultation results indicate that people prefer a bridge instead of a tunnel. A new bridge will have improved safety and security for traffic, pedestrians and cyclists, fewer impacts on agricultural land, fewer disturbances on the Fraser River, fewer construction risks and greater cost and schedule certainty.
Building a new bridge, and removing the old tunnel, also creates opportunities for environmental and community improvements to the Fraser River, and at Deas Island Park and Deas Slough.
The bridge would have created 9,000 direct construction jobs over five years.
How long would it take to construct the bridge?
If the project was approved today, it would take five years to build it. The sooner we start, the sooner it’s open to the public. Results of the NDP’s review are due to be released in the spring of 2018.