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

George Massey Tunnel replacement could have been cheaper than expected

Delta staff report says the bridge could have been built for nearly $1 billion less than projected

A bridge to replace the aging George Massey Tunnel could be significantly cheaper than projected, according to a recently-released City of Delta report.

Since the previous report to council in October 2017, new cost projections have come to light. In October, the estimated cost for a replacement ranged from $3.5 billion for a replacement bridge to $5.8 million for maintaining the existing tunnel and building a new bridge in another area.

However, according to a Delta staff report dated Feb. 21, 2018, the lowest bid for bridge construction came in at $2.6 billion — nearly $1 billion lower than the expected cost.

“Unlike the Patullo project which is only part-way through the environmental assessment process, the tunnel replacement project is shovel-ready,” the report reads. “[It] has received its environmental assessment certificate and has completed the bidding process.”

The George Massey Tunnel replacement project has been on hiatus since the NDP government took over from the B.C. Liberals last year.

RELATED: B.C. pauses Massey bridge work to conduct new review

In September, 2017, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena announced an independent technical review of the project, saying previous reviews by the Liberal government may not have looked at all possibilities.

About $70 million had already been spent on the $3.5 billion new crossing, including funds allocated to the building of a new counterflow lane on the Alex Fraser Bridge to help relieve congestion in the area while the project’s plan is sorted. Work on the counterflow lane began in early December and is expected to be complete in the fall.

READ MORE: Work begins on Alex Fraser Bridge counterflow lane

The technical review of the Massey replacement project got underway with engineer Stan Codwell in November of last year. The review is intended to look at the lifespan, safety, seismic vulnerability and current congestion of the tunnel, as well as the technical information already produced for the replacement project.

Results from that review are expected in the coming months.

— with files from Ashley Wadhwani and James Smith



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Newly elected Hope politicians took part in the Local Government Leadership Academy

The three-day event is aimed at helping new mayors and councillors navigate municipal politics

No records were beat, but Hope’s February temperatures aren’t average

Normally around 3C, the sub-zero temperatures made for both good and bad in the Fraser Valley

New Chilliwack YMCA was ‘worth the wait’ say visitors

Family Day will mark officially opening for new building, after sneak peek tours on Saturday

Opioid overdoses killing three people a month in Chilliwack

35 deaths in 2018 locally compare to 23 in 2017, 13 in 2016 up from about five per year before that

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Stabbing at Lower Mainland banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Most Read