The public can now weigh-in on the forthcoming George Massey Tunnel replacement as the province prepares to move forward with the environmental assessment process.
On Monday (April 25), B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced the early engagement phase of the environmental assessment process is underway for the proposed eight-lane tunnel, now dubbed the Fraser River Tunnel Project.
From now through June 9, the public is can provide feedback about how they want to be engaged throughout the environmental assessment process, as well as identify key interests and issues with the project’s design or location.
Feedback provided during this early engagement will be used to inform the planning and development of the project throughout all stages of the environmental assessment.
This first public comment period will feature a pair of in-person open houses and two virtual information sessions during which project team members and Environmental Assessment Office staff will be available to provide information and answer questions about the project and the environmental assessment process.
In-person public open houses are planned for May 10 at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn (1665 56th St., Delta) and for May 11 at the Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel (5911 Minoru Blvd., Richmond). Both sessions run from 5 to 8 p.m.
The virtual information sessions are scheduled for May 17, from 12 to 1:30 p.m., and May 19, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Information on how to join the virtual information sessions is available at gov.bc.ca/eaopubliccomments. Feedback can also be submitted via the same site.
More information on early engagement for the Fraser River Tunnel Project is available at projects.eao.gov.bc.ca/p/620aa098fd30c700220f2805/project-details.
The Environmental Assessment Office will hold three additional public consultation periods during future phases of the environmental assessment to seek input on more detailed information about the proposed project as it is developed.
The new crossing, which will be located immediately upstream of the existing tunnel, is expected to be operational by 2030 and cost an estimated $4.15 billion, which includes the cost of removing the current tunnel.
The immersed tube tunnel will be about one kilometre longer and three metres deeper than the existing tunnel to accommodate double-decker buses. Two of the eight lanes are to be dedicated for rapid bus transit, and there will be separated pathways for cyclists and pedestrians.
— with files from Aaron Hinks