The five options for replacing the 54-year-old Massey Tunnel have been revealed by the B.C. government.
Following public consultation last fall, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced Monday the options that will be considered and commented on by the public over the next few weeks.
The options are:
1. Maintain the existing tunnel.
2. Replace the existing tunnel with a new bridge.
3. Replace the existing tunnel with a new tunnel.
4. Maintain the existing tunnel and build a new crossing such as a “twin” bridge or tunnel along the Highway 99 corridor.
5. Maintain the existing tunnel and build a new crossing in a new location.
If a twin crossing is chosen, a bridge or tunnel would be constructed next to the existing tunnel to provide extra capacity for the current tunnel which is bursting with more than 80,000 vehicles every day.
A completely new crossing in a new corridor could be located between No. 8 Road in Richmond and 80th Street in Delta, near to the new South Fraser Perimeter Road.
However, Richmond city council has already expressed concerns over the loss of more agricultural land in that rural region of the city, should a new crossing be built there.
Any Improvements to the existing infrastructure would include structural and seismic upgrades to the tunnel and adjoining bridges as well as the Steveston and Highway 17 interchanges.
A new bridge could include multi-use paths and dedicated HOV lanes, removal of the current tunnel and improvements to the related bridges and interchanges.
Three open-house meetings are planned for Wednesday in Richmond, Thursday in Surrey and Saturday in Delta.
The Richmond event is at the Olympic oval from 6 to 9 p.m. Other open houses are being held in Surrey, March 14 at Sullivan Hall, 6306 - 152nd St. and in Delta on Saturday, March 16 at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn, 1665 56 St., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
An initial round of public input garnered 1,100 responses. Among the most common concerns were congestion — rush-hour lines can stretch back sometimes as far as five kilometres — economic and trade impacts, possibilities for alternative transportation like cycling and public transit, and a desire for a long-term solution.
According to official estimates, the tunnel has about 10 to 15 years of life left in it and the government has said it could take up to ten years to replace.
More information, including the online feedback can be found on the project website at masseytunnel.ca.
The deadline for input into the second phase of consultation is April 2.