VICTORIA, B.C. — Residents in B.C. are one step closer to getting a new crossing across the Fraser River.
The province announced the business case for a proposed replacement of the George Massey Tunnel on Highway 99 has been received by B.C.’s minister of transportation and infrastructure. Officials will now go through the submission, consult with partners and stakeholders, and make a final decision on creating a new tunnel or bridge to cross the Fraser River.
The business case elaborates on two shortlisted scenarios that the province revealed to the public earlier this year: an eight-lane bridge and an eight-lane immersed tube tunnel. Once officials have reviewed the business case, a decision will be made and the details will be made public.
What to do with the tunnel was a contested issue during the provincial election this fall with Liberals wanting to return to their original plan to build a 10-lane bridge. The plan was cancelled in 2017 by the NDP.
Following an Independent Technical Review released in December 2018, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure began a three-phase planning and engagement process to identify a crossing solution to address regional needs.
The process included working with the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Task Force, Indigenous groups, TransLink, local municipalities and key stakeholders to develop and evaluate crossing options.
This input and extensive technical work completed to date has led to the development of the business case. Technical analysis and engagement with regulators have continued throughout, as have discussions with participating Indigenous groups.