Is the port authority involved in the George Massey Tunnel Replacement project?
In 2013, the B.C. Liberal government announced plans to replace the George Massey Tunnel with a bridge. In September 2017, the B.C. NDP government initiated an independent technical review to inform decisions about the crossing. In October 2019, officials of a Metro Vancouver task force created to provide input to the provincial government on a new Massey crossing, recommended an eight-lane immersed-tube tunnel – with two lanes dedicated to transit – as its preferred option. A final Metro Vancouver recommendation will be taken to public consultation by the province.
The George Massey Tunnel primarily handles commuter and ferry-related traffic. Truck traffic heading to or from Roberts Bank terminals accounts for less than three per cent of total traffic through the tunnel during peak traffic periods.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority supports a tunnel replacement project that will address the bottleneck and bring travel time reliability to one of our most important transportation corridors, serving our national and regional economies.
The previous government consulted the port authority on proposed designs for the project because the port authority has navigational jurisdiction of the Fraser River. We are required to ensure that any structure above or below the water does not impede current or future shipping.
In reviewing the crossing, the port authority determined that a replacement project – whether bridge or tunnel – would have no bearing on the port authority’s plans to manage increasing trade on the Fraser River.
Internationally, ships are getting larger to be more economically and environmentally efficient. However, regardless of the design that is selected for a potential George Massey Tunnel replacement project, the port authority has no plans to further deepen the Fraser River to accommodate larger vessels.
Transportation is a critical issue for the Lower Mainland and the George Massey Tunnel is an important bottleneck that needs to be addressed. The port authority supports a tunnel replacement project to ease traffic congestion through the corridor and to enhance transportation efficiency for commuters and port-related traffic in the region.