A rendering of a proposed eight-lane immersive tunnel crossing that would replace the current Massey tunnel. (Ministry of Transportation)

A rendering of a proposed eight-lane immersive tunnel crossing that would replace the current Massey tunnel. (Ministry of Transportation)

Metro Vancouver task force recommends eight-lane tunnel for Massey crossing

No costs are attached to any of the options considered

A task force of Metro Vancouver mayors have recommended an immersive-tube tunnel as the best option for a new Massey crossing.

At a meeting at Metro Vancouver headquarters Wednesday afternoon, nine out of 10 members voted for an immersive tunnel with a focus on rapid transit.

Three general types of crossing were considered: a six- or eight-lane bridge, a deep-bore tunnel or a immersed-tube tunnel. A previous Liberal government proposal to build a $3.5 billion 10-lane bridge was struck down by the NDP government.

“There’s every disadvantage to the smaller bridge that there was with the 10-lane bridge,” Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said.

Transportation ministry staff laid out the three options. Although the ministry’s Lina Halwani said “all three are technically possible,” a three-time higher cost effectively ruled out the deep-bore tunnel solution for the mayors.

Halwani said none of the options had official cost estimates attached.

“These designs are in their very early stages,” she said.

“It’s not fair to commit to a dollar figure when we still have a lot of work ahead.”

There were two options for the immersed-tube tunnel: a six-lane version that would use the existing tunnel as two dedicated transit lanes, and a eight-lane options that would add a multi-use pathway, have dedicated transit lanes and use the old tunnel for utilities.

Halwani cautioned against using the old tunnel for transit, noting TransLink was strongly against it. The tunnel is estimated to be “serviceable for 50 years,” according to a technical report, although it does not meet current seismic requirements.

“If we continue to use the existing tunnel we have to upgrade it, which will cost hundreds of millions,” she told the task force.

It would also “extend timeline for environmental assessment and add up to five minutes to transit times.”

White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker agreed.

“The tunnel’s done,” he said.

Walker questioned what would happen when traffic exited the new, wider crossing into Richmond. Transportion ministry staff estimate the 70 per cent of the traffic will “disperse along the way” before it reaches bridge into Vancouver.

“My sense is that’s not the case,” Walker said.

“What we’re doing here is looking at moving traffic issues… to the next roadblock, and we’re going to be talking about this in five years as well.”

The key to not recreating Massey congestion elsewhere is to “make sure there’s a decent rapid transit system throughout the whole [region].”

New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote agreed.

Rapid public transit along the whole Highway 99 route needed to be “enshrined” into the new Massey crossing proposal, and not “up for debate on the whim of whatever future provincial government may come into the discussion.”

The immersed-tube tunnel recommendation will now move to a committee before heading to the Metro Vancouver board. The board will then forward its recommendation onto the province.

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

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

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

Just Posted

Laura Barnes is to feature some of her artwork at Gallery at Central Plaza next month. (Contributed photo)
New artist showcase coming to White Rock gallery

Laura Barnes work, mixing brights and darks, to be displayed in February

Surrey Community Cat Foundation received funding to assist with medical procedures. (File photo)
SurreyCats receives grant to assist with spay/neuter costs

PetSmart Charities of Canada donates $5,000

White Rock Public Library (File photo)
Surrey, White Rock literacy leaders kick off Family Literacy Week

Literacy events to take place Jan. 24 to 31

Beds are set up at the emergency response centre at the North Surrey Recreation Centre. (Contributed file photo)
26 people test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey emergency shelter

Centre located at North Surrey Recreation Centre

Surrey firefighters respond to a townhouse fire Sunday morning. (Shane MacKichan photos)
Firefighters respond to townhouse fire in Surrey

Fire ‘knocked down quickly’: witness

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

Most Read