A rendering of the bridge set to replace the George Massey Tunnel. The project will cost $3.5 billion and will be tolled

$3.5B toll bridge to replace George Massey Tunnel to be largest in B.C.

Tolls will be 'comparable' to those charged on the Port Mann Bridge, transportation minister announces

DELTA — The bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel will cost $3.5 billion and will be tolled with crossing fees “comparable” to those charged on the Port Mann Bridge, provincial Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone has revealed.

Construction on the new 10-lane bridge, to be built over the Fraser River at Highway 99, on the same spot as the aging tunnel, is expected to begin in early 2017 and will create more than 9,000 construction jobs.

Stone launched the third phase of public consultation on the project Wednesday, flanked by Delta Mayor Lois Jackson and Delta North MLA Scott Hamilton.

North Delta, Stone said, will be one of the communities “so dramatically affected” by the bridge project.

“This will be the largest bridge ever built in B.C.,” Stone said. “When completed, it will address what is now the worst traffic bottleneck in the province.”

Thousands of Surrey and North Delta residents use the tunnel each day. Stone said the bridge should spare commuters roughly 30 minutes in commuting time each day.

It will be three kilometres long, with its major piers built on land to reduce impact on the Fraser, and will feature four regular lanes and one transit/HOV lane in either direction.

Three interchanges will also be replaced, one on the Delta side and two in Richmond, 24 kilometers of Highway 99 will be widened and traffic will continue on through the tunnel while the bridge is being constructed.

Stone noted that over the next 20 years, the Lower Mainland is expected to grow by one million residents, with many settling in south of the Fraser. The new bridge, therefore, will be built to potentially accommodate rapid transit in the future.

While singing the new bridge’s praises, Stone also paid homage to the aged tunnel, which opened on May 24, 1959 and took five months to build at a cost of $25 million.

“It certainly was an engineering marvel,” Stone said.

Meanwhile, Hamilton said the bridge announcement marked an “exciting and historic day.” The bridge is expected to reduce traffic crashes by 35 per cent, he said, and reduce vehicle idling time by one million hours each year.

Jackson said the announcement “is so welcome I am almost at a loss for words.

“I’m so pleased,” she said. “We have waited in Delta for a long time for an announcement.”

This third phase of public consultation will be underway until Jan. 28 and details on how to participate are available at www.masseytunnel.ca.

“We want to hear from the public,” Jackson said.

A transportation ministry spokeswoman said the bridge will likely retain the name George Massey.

The tunnel was originally named the Deas Island Tunnel but was renamed after MLA Nehamiah “George” Massey in 1967, three years after his death. Massey served Delta from 1956 to 1960.

Crossing the Port Mann Bridge currently costs commuters anywhere between $1.60 for motorcyclists to $9.45 for large trucks.

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

Just Posted

One man dead after crash at Highway 10 and 152 Street in Surrey

Pedestrian hit by two vehicles: Surrey RCMP

Replica totem pole to be raised at Peace Arch Park

‘Reconciliation ceremony’ will include SFN leaders, provincial politicians

ELECTION QUESTIONS: Does Surrey need its own police force?

Who’s on the right side of Surrey RCMP’s contract issue debate? That’s for voters to decide on Oct. 20

WEB POLL: Is Surrey a safer city since the last election?

Crime and public safety continue to be hot button election issues

Delta resident raises more than $100K for Easter Seals

Archie Campbell has rappelled down the side of a building six times to raise money for disabled kids

VIDEO: Tour de Valley riders visit Surrey elementary school

Students create signs to support riders

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

VIDEO: Woman files complaint over treatment of cat with two broken legs

Ariel Johnston of Abbotsford says her pet was sent home without pain medication

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

Most Read