Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Families Sector, Transportation Sector, Vancouver Coast & Mountains Region

Massey Tunnel replacement consultations begin

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Families, Transportation Wednesday, November 21, 2012 7:30 AM


VANCOUVER - The government of B.C. has heard from communities north and south of the Fraser River that the replacement of the George Massey Tunnel is a priority for B.C. families.

This is why the Province is moving forward on the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project with the first phase of a multi-phase consultation process set to begin next week.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is committed to working with all stakeholders and communities who depend on the Highway 99 corridor, to ensure that the improvements support both regional and provincial plans and meet the needs of a growing population and economy.

The existing four-lane George Massey Tunnel opened in 1959 and now carries over 80,000 vehicles each day. It is the only major Fraser River crossing in Metro Vancouver with a single lane of traffic in the off-peak direction during the daily commute.

The existing tunnel has 10 to 15 years of useful life remaining before major components will need to be completely replaced. Because it realistically takes 10 years to plan and construct a project of this magnitude, it's important to start the planning process now to ensure a solution will be in place when needed.

The launch of this planning process is the first important step to help determine the most appropriate solution to meet the growing needs of families, commuters, businesses and others that rely on this crossing.

The consultation program will include a variety of methods for the public and stakeholders to be involved and provide input, including online engagement, stakeholder meetings, and five public open houses. The ministry will use this input to develop a short-list of potential replacement options for additional public consultation in the new year.

Government's intention to begin the process to replace the George Massey Tunnel was announced by Premier Christy Clark on Sept. 28, 2012, in an address to the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

Quotes:

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Mary Polak -

"We've heard from commuters and community leaders, and one thing is very clear to us - the status quo is not an option. That's why we're beginning the process to replace the George Massey Tunnel."

"We're looking forward to public input from all over the region. This input will help us develop a solution that will address congestion and improve reliability for commuters and businesses that rely on the Highway 99 corridor."

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson -

"I am extremely pleased to see that work is starting on the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project. Delta is the community most impacted by tunnel congestion and knowing that work is in progress is a great relief for our residents and businesses alike."

"For several years, we have been lobbying for something to be done, and I would personally like to thank Premier Christy Clark and Transportation Minister Mary Polak for listening and taking decisive action in moving forward with this vital link. We look forward to working together with the Province on a viable solution to the tunnel congestion."

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie -

"Traffic congestion is one of the main concerns of our region. Over time, the Massey Tunnel has been a major negative factor affecting the efficient movement of both people and goods around our region and in our city."

"We are looking forward to being part of the planning process to replace the Massey Tunnel and working with the Province on plans to get traffic freely flowing again throughout the Highway 99 corridor."

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts -

"The City of Surrey is looking forward to the consultation process because this crossing impacts an important transportation corridor, including our port network."

"Seventy per cent of the region's growth is taking place south of the Fraser River, so replacing the George Massey Tunnel will help improve the flow of goods and people, and create a more efficient transportation system."

Quick Facts:

  • The four-lane George Massey Tunnel opened in 1959.
  • The counter-flow system was put in place in 1981.
  • In addition to being a significant commuting route, it is part of a primary north/south corridor to the U.S. border and east/west corridor to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.
  • The tunnel now serves more than 80,000 vehicles a day, and is the only major crossing of the Fraser River in Metro Vancouver with a single lane of traffic in the off-peak direction.

Learn More:

Find out more about the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project at: www.masseytunnel.ca

A backgrounder follows.

Contact:

Kate Trotter
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
250 356-8241

BACKGROUNDER

George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project Open Houses

The public and stakeholder consultation program will begin Nov. 28, 2012, and include a variety of methods for the public and stakeholders to be involved and provide input, including online engagement, stakeholder meetings, and five public open houses. The deadline for input into the first phase of consultation is Dec. 19, 2012.

Delta:
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012
Open House: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Presentation at noon
Delta Town & Country
6005 Highway 17
Delta

Richmond:
Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012
Open House: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Presentation at 8 p.m.
Sandman Vancouver Airport Hotel
10251 Saint Edwards Drive
Richmond

Surrey/Cloverdale:
Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012
Open House: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Presentation at 8 p.m.
Cloverdale Fairgrounds - Alice McKay Building
6050A - 176 Street
Surrey

South Surrey:
Monday, Dec. 10, 2012

Open House: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Presentation at 8 p.m.
Morgan Creek Golf Course
3500 Morgan Creek Way
Surrey

Richmond:
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012

Open House: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Presentation at 8 p.m.
The Richmond Olympic Oval
6111 River Road
Richmond

Contact:

Kate Trotter
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
250 356-8241

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