Contracts have been awarded for the planned Highway 99 improvements, ahead of the new 8-lane immersed tube tunnel to replace the current Massey crossing.
Work on the various transit and cycling improvements, north and south of the current tunnel, will begin this year, according to the B.C. government.
A $5.28-million contract has been awarded to Lafarge Canada Inc. of Port Coquitlam, to construct the Bridgeport Road bus connection as well as improvements to the Highway 99/17A interchange.
This new bus-only access will be created from Bridgeport Road to Highway 99 southbound, and is meant to improve transit access to the highway and speed up the commute from Bridgeport Station and the Canada Line, according to the province.
The Lafarge contract also includes the creation of a new multi-use pathway from the Oak Street Bridge that will connect to Richmond’s cycling and pedestrian network, and improvements to the bicycle shuttle pullout and cycling facilities on Highway 17A, such as new ramp crossings.
“Giving people options for commuting by improving transit and active transportation choices is a priority for the region,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, in a statement.
“Combined with the new crossing to replace the George Massey Tunnel, we’ll improve traffic flow, manage traffic congestion and make travel by transit, walking and cycling more convenient and attractive along this section of Highway 99.”
Meanwhile, M2K Construction Ltd. of Coquitlam has been awarded a $12.8-million contract to construct bus lanes on Highway 99 south of the Massey Tunnel.
This project includes the creation of southbound bus-on-shoulder lanes between Highway 17A and the Ladner Trunk Road off-ramp, and northbound from Ladner Trunk Road to the existing start of the high-occupancy vehicle lane on Highway 99.
Work on both of these contracts will begin later this year once all permitting is in place, according to the provincial government.
The province is also planning to replace the Steveston Interchange, including widening the Steveston overpass from two lanes to five.
That project is in the request for qualifications stage, with a request for proposals planned for early fall. Once the contract is awarded, construction will likely begin in 2022 with an anticipated completion date of 2025.
Construction on the new tunnel is set to begin in 2025, pending an environmental assessment.