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

Island wolf population ‘reasonably secure,’ says researcher

Forestry practices, not predation by wolves, blamed for reduced numbers in prey animals

PHOTOS: Vancouver Island MusicFest showcases talent from across Canada and around the world

Eclectic line-up ranged from West African to Korean performers, along with rock and blues legends

SLIDESHOW: Hundreds gather for the combination of classic cars and cool aircraft

Campbell River’s annual Wings & Wheels event held at city airport

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

Most Read