Bridge to replace Massey Tunnel could cost less than previously thought, says City of Delta

Massey Tunnel | Photo: Rob Kruyt

Scrapping the George Massey Tunnel and replacing it with a bridge will cost less than the $3.5 billion originally thought, according to a City of Delta George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project (GMTRP) update report.

According to the City of Delta, the low bid came in at a much lower price.

“Since the last report to Council on the GMTRP in October 2017, new details have emerged regarding project costs,” the report said.

“The low bid for the bridge construction came in well below the initial estimate of $3.5 billion at $2.6 billion, placing the bridge as the lowest cost option by a significant margin.

“Surprisingly, this potential savings of $900 million has not been widely reported.”

The original cost projections for all options to replace the bridge ranged from $3.5 billion for a new bridge to $5.8 billion to  retain the tunnel and build a new bridge on a new alignment.

The BC NDP government had announced September 6 that it was cancelling procurement contracts for the project – but it wasn’t necessarily cancelling the entire project – and calling for an independent technical review. This was three months after the NDP had said that not only would the bridge cost $3.5 billion, but the associated debt servicing would add another $8 billion to the bill, bringing the total cost to just under $12 billion.

The results of an Angus Reid Global poll released in September showed that 75% of Metro Vancouver residents thought replacing the tunnel with a 10-lane bridge was the best option. Support among residents of Richmond and Delta dipped to 65%.