The City of Richmond is an Island, and obviously every bridge and tunnel that directs traffic on or off our City streets is vitally important. And the next big transportation improvement on the horizon is the replacement of the George Massey Tunnel.
Built in the late 1950’s, the Massey Tunnel or more affectionately dubbed ‘The Tube’ sees close to 80,000 cars a day during a normal rush hour. It has about 10-15 years of useful life remaining and will need urgent replacement by then. Given the growth in population in both Richmond and in the South Fraser Region, as well as the expansion to DeltaPort, this project needs advance planning. Obviously the ultimate goal is processing much higher volumes of vehicle traffic without the current gridlock. From an economic standpoint this new transportation artery will also allow for higher volumes of truck traffic, which will be important to the movement of goods to our ports and traffic to the ferry terminal.
The question then, is what to replace it with. That’s where you came in. Should it be a bridge, or larger tunnel? How should it be paid for? What is the environmental impact, and given that the Fraser River is one of the world’s largest salmon-bearing rivers and a waterfowl estuary, how do we mitigate any effects of construction.
The Ministry of Transportation and Highways launched a phase one consultation with some basic questions in late 2012. The second phase of a consultation process wrapped up in early April, 2013. Thousands of people participated by attending meetings and filling out questionnaires. The results of phase one consultation are already up on the Ministry’s website and the results of the phase two consultation will be posted shortly. It will contain a shortlist of replacement options.
I urge you to stay informed and to review the options carefully when they’re posted. This transportation project is vitally important to you, your family your business and our City. Log on to the Ministry of Transportation website or enter “George Massey Consultation Project’ on the Google Search Engine and follow the links.
(Authorized by Kimberly Sorensen, Official Agent for the Linda Reid Campaign, 604-276-8868)