The George Massey tunnel is considered B.C.’s worst traffic congestion point, and unable to withstand a major earthquake. (Black Press files)

VIDEO: What’s plan B for Massey tunnel, opposition asks

Premier John Horgan wants ‘biggest benefit to public’

Now that a 10-lane bridge replacement for the George Massey tunnel is off the table, opposition critics want to know where the B.C. NDP government’s plan to deal with the gridlock and earthquake risk is going.

The tunnel under the Fraser River is a main route for the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island visitors, and Delta South MLA Ian Paton notes that the traffic congestion is getting worse with the return of long, rainy nights.

Paton asked Transportation Minister Claire Trevena in the B.C. legislature Tuesday for an update on a “technical review” of options that she announced nearly two months ago. None was forthcoming.

“We acknowledge there is a problem on the Highway 99 corridor, and we’re going to be addressing that,” Trevena replied. “We want to make sure that we are looking at all of the options as well as engaging with the Lower Mainland elected officials who were shut out by the last government.”

Paton said there were 250 meetings and five options presented on the previous government’s plan to build a Port Mann-style crossing over the Fraser River, with the bridge option the clear favourite.

“I will remind the minister that the George Massey tunnel is once again the worst bottleneck in this province, and 80,000 people a day are stuck in traffic and rush hour in the tunnel,” Paton said.

Premier John Horgan said most Lower Mainland mayors had other priorities than the Massey crossing. The NDP campaigned against the Massey project in the last election, arguing that a replacement for the aging Pattullo bridge is a higher priority.

Finance Minister Carole James has confirmed that the budget for the bridge project has been redirected, with $66 million spent by the province on engineering and site work, and another $25 million by B.C. Hydro to reroute power.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Baby formula is one of the most needed hamper items in Chilliwack this holiday season

Although not always easily accessible, almost two-thirds of families formula feed their babies

Rainstorm drenches Lower Mainland as snow falls on the Sea-to-Sky

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

DFO confirms that investigation of fish habitat destruction in the Fraser River is underway

Conservation and Protection reps ordered Herrling and Carey Island owners to take corrective action

Hope rescue crew remove man pinned in semi-truck on Highway 3

Tuesday night rescue was swift, with the man removed safely from the truck within an hour and a half

Chilliwack Chiefs get Daniel Chenard back in action

The top goalie in last spring’s RBC Cup missed the first half of the season rehabbing after surgery.

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

‘I thought I was dead as soon as I saw the gun’

Keremeos gas station attendant tells story about man with gun coming to store

5 to start your day

Torched-SUV victim from Surrey ‘had the purest heart,’ TransLink will bring free WiFi to buses, SkyTrain and Seabus by 2020 and more

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit, beginning Thursday, which will center on the Brexit negotiations.

Snowfall warning for Coquihalla, B.C. highways

It’s another wintry day for B.C. highways

Man climbs tree to evade police after Surrey RCMP called to domestic dispute

The man was 60 feet up the tree for hours, according to a Black Press freelancer at the scene

Most Read