B.C.’s new NDP government has cancelled the current construction schedule for a new George Massey bridge, and is sending the project to a technical review.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is proceeding with an independent technical review of the tunnel to find a solution that gets people and goods moving and makes sense for commuters across the region.
Pending the outcome of the review, the current procurement process has been cancelled and the project will not be budgeted for in the government’s capital plan until a solution has been identified. The terms of the request for proposals dictate that each of the two final bidding teams will be paid up to $2 million to help offset their expenses to date.
So far, the province has spent approximately $66 million on the estimated $3.5-billion project. BC Hydro has spent approximately $25 million on its transmission relocation project. Work completed to date is expected to be utilized regardless of which option is chosen. Valuable property has been acquired, pre-load construction work along the Highway 99 corridor is wrapping up, and technical work and analysis will be considered as government moves forward to improve the crossing.
The ministry is in the process of recruiting the individual to lead the technical review, and will support the review with expertise in highway infrastructure construction, transportation planning and traffic engineering.
The review will focus on what level of improvement is needed in the context of regional and provincial planning, growth and vision, as well as which option would be best for the corridor, be it the proposed 10-lane bridge, a smaller bridge or tunnel.