The business plan for the new George Massey crossing will be received by the transportation minister in “a matter of days,” according to B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation.
However, no specific timeline has been given for when the plan and final decision on the new crossing will be made public.
The ministry told the Richmond News that once the business case is received by Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation, it will head to cabinet, which will “take the time necessary to do a thorough review.”
The case — previously promised to be made public by the BC NDP this fall — will only be made public after that review and a decision on the crossing has been made, according to the ministry.
Last year, Metro Vancouver’s mayors endorsed an eight-lane immersed tube tunnel to replace the current, aging crossing, which opened in 1959.
However, the province is looking at two short-listed options: either the eight-lane tunnel or an eight-lane bridge.
Both options will have dedicated transit lanes.
The preferred option will be presented in the forthcoming business case.
The BC Liberals have raised concerns about the timeline for the replacement.
“Last week the minister of transportation was asked about a potential timeline for the project. But he couldn’t even say if a replacement for the George Massey Tunnel would be done by the year 2035,” said Michael Lee, transportation critic and BC Liberal MLA for Vancouver-Langara, during question period in the legislature on Monday.
But Fleming, Minister of Transportation, said Monday that the timeline “is being adhered to.”
“We’re going to get to this in the new year, as a government. We have a budget to be able to do this. This is a critically important piece of infrastructure.”
When asked by the News, the ministry said that the project’s “scope, cost and timeline will be confirmed once the decision on the crossing has been made.”
Currently, the tunnel is undergoing a $40 million-upgrade, expected to be complete by spring 2021.