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

Delta says it could replace Massey Tunnel with federal, third-party cash

Determination came from a series of meetings with federal government in early June

The City of Delta could take on replacing the George Massey Tunnel without help from the province, if it finds a suitable funding partner.

That was the conclusion of a series of meetings that Delta undertook with the federal Ministry of Transportation, as well as Ministry of Public Services and Procurement, in early June.

Mayor Lois Jackson, police chief Neil Dubord and acting city manager Ken Kunz attended the meetings to discuss the national economic importance of the river crossing, and the need for a new bridge as soon as possible. Tsawwassen First Nation’s chief Bryce Williams was also present, and commented on the importance of the crossing to his community, as well as safety concerns around the tunnel.

“All we have to do is find a funding partner,” Jackson said during council on July 16. “And it doesn’t have to be the provincial government who let us down badly.”

In September 2017, construction of the George Massey Tunnel replacement bridge was put on hold as the new NDP government undertook an independent technical review of the project.

RELATED: Technical review of George Massey Tunnel underway

The review was 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. The review was expected to be complete by spring 2018, but has yet to be released to the public.

Until the review is complete, the tunnel replacement will stay in a state of limbo.

According to a staff report about the meeting, it’s possible a new bridge could be federally funded under the National Trade Corridors Fund, if the city could find a funding partner to support the project.

In some ways, this could be an echo of the original plan for the bridge, which would have seen joint investment from the federal government and the provincial government. In March of 2017, Delta MP Carla Qualtrough told council the province had decided to receive low-cost financing from the feds, rather than an infrastructure investment.

RELATED: Massey Bridge not on federal government’s list of infrastructure investments in Delta

“Maybe that’s our next project, looking to find a partner,” Jackson said at council. “It could be anybody. It could be another country, it could be a pension fund, it could be an investment company. Who knows? Maybe it’s even the company that’s going to build it — I don’t know.

“But that came through, and I was absolutely delighted to hear we have another option to help people from our community and the other communities.”

The federal meetings in June also included discussions with other federal ministries on topics such as cannabis legalization, local channel dredging, dikes and Canada’s national public alerting system.



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Premier in Maple Ridge for health care announcement

Urgent and primary care centre gets permanent home in Haney Place Mall

B.C. conservation officers free not-so-wily coyote

Poor pup was found with a glass jar stuck on its head in Maple Ridge

WEATHER: Heavy rain, mix of sun and cloud forecasted for Ridge Meadows

Temperatures will reach a high of 20 C Thursday

Graffiti plagues downtown Maple Ridge

Often profane and offensive, says downtown BIA

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

North Okanagan man chains himself to tree in protest of construction

Crews began work clearing space for a new facility Thursday, Aug. 6

VIDEO: A B.C business used robots to bring down concrete walls

Walco Industries is the only firm on Vancouver Island to use specialized robots for hydro-demolition

As CERB winds down, labour group asks Liberals to rethink EI

The government estimates four million people will be moved onto EI after CERB ends

‘Tiny home’ being built for Abbotsford woman with severe allergies

Online campaign raises $59,000 for custom cargo trailer for Katie Hobson

Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

2016 kidnapping, extortion by Hells Angels member related to Hope cannabis grow ops

Various Hope area grow ops connected to distribution network in Edmonton, court documents detail

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Most Read