Work to develop options for a long-term solution for the George Massey Crossing is now underway. The ministry is working closely with the newly-formed Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Task Force, Indigenous groups, TransLink, local municipalities and other stakeholders to develop and evaluate crossing options. Options will be based on consultation as well as the results of the Independent Technical Review released in December 2018. The target completion for this phase of work is the end of November 2019.
From January through April, the ministry collaborated with key Metro Vancouver and First Nations leaders to identify shared principles, goals and objectives. Through this process it was determined that that the crossing must be aligned with existing plans, provide improved safety, reliability and connectivity, and support the following project goals:
- sustainability of communities;
- increased use of sustainable modes of transportation, (transit, cycling, walking, HOV);
- enhanced regional goods movement and commerce; and,
- a healthy environment.
There will be future opportunities for public engagement as well, and ongoing consultation throughout the rest of the process.
Safety and Reliability Improvements
Work is now ongoing through 2020 for immediate safety improvements to the tunnel that will cost an estimated $40 million:
- Converting tunnel and roadway lighting to the new LED standard and washing the interior more frequently will increase visibility for drivers;
- Upgrading the alarm, pumping, ventilation, fire door and electrical systems to meet current standards and ensure reliability;
- Resurfacing Highway 99 between Steveston Highway and the Highway 17 Interchange, including better lane markings and more reflective signs to improve safety; and,
- Improving tunnel drainage to reduce the risk to drivers from pooling water and ice at tunnel entrances.
The ministry is also meeting with key municipal, regional and First Nations groups to advance work that will address congestion relief in the traffic network. This includes improvements to the traffic network at the Steveston interchange to reduce congestion along the corridor, as well as improvements on the Delta side of the traffic network.
The Independent Technical Review looked at the original project goals and proposed solution, and the engagement and technical work done to date. As part of the review, additional specialized work was completed regarding traffic analysis, and safety, seismic and congestion issues. The review concluded there are other options that will reduce scale, complexity and cost of a new crossing, and better align with regional planning including transit.