The George Massey tunnel is considered B.C.’s worst traffic congestion point, and unable to withstand a major earthquake. (Black Press Media file)

The George Massey tunnel is considered B.C.’s worst traffic congestion point, and unable to withstand a major earthquake. (Black Press Media file)

Bridge or tunnel: Metro Vancouver to decide on Massey crossing recommendation

Task force will send recommendation to province

Metro Vancouver residents could learn what a likely Massey tunnel replacement option will look like early Wednesday afternoon.

The George Massey Crossing Task Force will receive a report about six short-listed replacement options for the aging tunnel. The task force was started after the NDP scrapped the previous Liberal government’s 10-lane bridge proposal.

The report highlights the advantages and disadvantages of the six options:

  • New eight-lane immersed-tube tunnel with multi-use pathway
  • New six-lane immersed-tube tunnel plus use of the existing tunnel to provide two dedicated lanes for transit.
  • New eight-lane bridge with multi-use pathway.
  • New eight-lane deep-bored tunnel plus use of the existing tunnel for a multi-use pathway.
  • New six-lane bridge plus use of the existing tunnel to provide two dedicated lanes for transit.
  • New six-lane deep-bored tunnel plus use of the existing tunnel to provide two dedicated lanes for transit.

It notes the deep-bored tunnel options are “technically challenging and are assessed as high risk.” This option would risk sink holes appearing and require “removal of three million cubic meters of salt-contaminated soil during construction.” The cost is estimated at three times the cost of the immersed-tube tunnel and bridge options. The report points to the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel project in Seattle, which finished late and overbudget after a boring machine, dubbed Berta, got stuck multiple times. The machine needed for the Massey project would be 20 metres wide, compared to 17.5 metres for the Seattle project.

The immersed-tube tunnel options are described as “moderately challenging,” with the most complex environmental assessment due to in-river and riverbank work. This option would require one kilometre of tunnel, a large staging area and removal of 1.5 million cubic meters of salt-contaminated soil. It’s estimated to cost the same as a bridge option, although costs are not yet known. The 10-lane bridge option was estimated to cost $3.5 billion.

The bridge options would require the least complex environmental assessment, the report notes, as it would be similar to the one already done for the 10-lane option. It would require around three kilometres of bridge and approaches, with abutments on land and foundations of at least 80 metres in depth.

The current tunnel, although expected to remain “serviceable” for 50 years, does not meet seismic requirements, the report said.

The task force is expected to come to a decision that will serve as its recommendation to Metro Vancouver mayors Wednesday afternoon, although it will not be binding.

READ MORE: Council wants Massey crossing project to include South Surrey interchanges

READ MORE: Unity needed among mayors on Massey Tunnel replacement, Delta mayor says


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A memorial to Hudson Brooks outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment. (File photo)
Officer who fatally shot Hudson Brooks recounts ‘absolutely terrifying’ incident

Const. Elizabeth Cucheran testified at coroner’s inquest Tuesday morning

File photo
Surrey council members give themselves a raise in secret meeting

A redacted report was subsequently posted to the city’s website

Photo posted to facebook.com/HoratioAlgerCA.
Eight Surrey students among 170 Horatio Alger scholarship winners in Canada

‘Need-based scholarships’ given to high school students

Students with Seaquam Secondary’s Delta Youth Advisory Council are collecting non-perishable food donations Feb. 1 to March 5 to help feed local families in need over spring break. (Delta School District/submitted photo)
Seaquam Secondary food drive to help feed 15 North Delta families

Donations can be dropped week days between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. until Monday, March 8

Crews work to build Central Surrey Recycling and Waste Centre in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
PHOTOS/VIDEO: Surrey’s new recycling/waste dropoff site takes shape near Newton business park

‘Central Surrey’ location to make for ‘a convenient one-stop-drop’ by early 2022

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Most Read