Final decision on Massey Tunnel replacement to be made ‘very soon:’ Ministry

Richmond council and Metro Vancouver mayors previously endorsed a new tunnel

A final decision will soon be made on the new George Massey crossing. Getty Images photo

The question of whether a bridge or a tunnel will replace the aging George Massey crossing could soon be answered.

A final decision on the project is expected “very soon,” according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“Government is actively reviewing technical aspects of the business case with Indigenous rights holders, the federal government, mayors and key stakeholders, in advance of a final decision, which is expected to be made very soon,” the ministry said in an emailed statement to the Richmond News.

The province received the business case – previously promised to be made public last fall – in December 2020.

Meanwhile, Richmond councillors passed a referral motion at Tuesday’s public works and transportation committee meeting, asking city staff to provide an update on the planned crossing.

Coun. Chak Au introduced the referral motion, which passed unanimously. The update will be provided at the June 22 meeting.

City staff told councillors on the committee that they haven’t been told when the business case will be made available to municipalities or when the project will be funded, although city staff are “regularly” reaching out to the ministry for updates.

The Massey crossing business case outlines two short-listed options: an eight-lane bridge and an eight-lane immersed tube tunnel. It also identifies “potential corridor improvements to alleviate congestion and improve safety, public transit and cycling,” ahead of the new crossing’s completion, the ministry said.

The eight-lane immersed tube tunnel option was endorsed by Metro Vancouver’s mayors in 2019. Richmond city council have also said they prefer a tunnel to a bridge.

The current crossing opened in 1959.