Massey Bridge advances to bidding stage with three groups

$3.5 billion toll bridge to be long-term private-public partnership

The transportation ministry is advancing to the request for proposal stage with three groups that will bid to build the planned $3.5-billion new bridge and Highway 99 upgrades to replace the Massey Tunnel.

The three groups of partnered companies in the running are:

– Gateway Mobility Solutions, which includes ACS Infrastructure Canada and Aecon Concessions, along with Dragados and Flatiron Constructors as design-build contractors.

– Lower Mainland Contractors, which includes Kiewit Canada, Macquarie and VINCI Concessions.

– Pacific Skyway Partners, which includes Fluor Canada, John Laing Investment and SNC-Lavalin Capital.

The winning bidder, to be chosen by next summer, is to raise $750 million to partly finance the project, as well as design, build and operate it.

The new 10-lane toll bridge is being designed to last 125 years and meet modern earthquake standards, which the Massey Tunnel does not.

The 10 lanes over the bridge will consist of four for general travel and one transit/HOV lane in each direction.

The project also includes the widening of 24 kilometres of Highway 99 to provide transit/HOV lanes from Bridgeport Road to Highway 91, replacement of three interchanges at Westminster Highway, Steveston Highway and Highway 17A, decommissioning of the tunnel, and construction of multi-use pathways for cyclists and pedestrians on either side of the new bridge.

The new bridge is supposed to open in 2022.

The Metro Vancouver regional district has opposed the project as it stands, arguing the bridge’s 10 lanes is excessive and will cause undesired impacts on growth, steer more people into cars instead of public transit, and ultimately increase congestion.

The B.C. government originally tried to build the Port Mann/Highway 1 project as a full public-private partnership but cancelled the finance component in 2009 in the midst of the financial crisis and borrowed directly to get the new bridge built.

Model of the future Steveston Highway interchange after the Massey Bridge/Highway 99 project is complete.

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