Delta NDP candidates saw Massey replacement will be tunnel, not bridge

NDP promises new tunnel

The BC NDP say they'll build a tunnel instead of a bridge to replace the aging George Massey Tunnel between Delta and Richmond.

That’s according to provincial New Democrat candidates Bruce Reid and Ravi Kahlon, responding to the B.C. Liberals' recent criticism about the NDP's handling of the replacement project.

In a news release Monday, Reid, the candidate in Delta South, and Kahlon, the NDP incumbent in Delta North, pledged their government will get a new crossing built quickly.

“We are committed to helping people get where they need to go and are working full steam ahead on plans for a toll-free Massey replacement,” said Kahlon.

“I’m encouraged that the mayors have come together to support a brand new eight-lane tunnel, and as MLA I will make sure to get it done.”

The NDP’s plans for the new crossing are well underway, with the project business case to be completed this fall, Kahlon explained.

“For too long, people in Delta, Surrey and Richmond have dealt with transportation bottle-necks that have hurt businesses and made life harder for families. From imposing unfair tolls to a long-term lack of infrastructure investment, the B.C. Liberals just made the situation worse,” said Reid. “Now they want to change course and start all over again, risking years of delays and the loss of federal funding.”

Reid added that while plans haven’t been finalized, all the information he’s been able to gather to this point indicates that "it's 95 per cent" the new tunnel option would likely be selected.

The transportation ministry unveiled two replacement options at an open house in Tsawwassen earlier this year, one being an immersed eight-lane tunnel and the other being a long-span bridge with the same number of lanes.

For the in-river sections, the new tunnel would be placed in a trench next to the existing immersed tunnel. The trench would be created by an open cut excavation.

The tunnel project would have an estimated three-year environmental review and require five years of construction.

The go-ahead to initiate the environmental review for either option would happen in 2021, something that Delta South Liberal candidate Ian Paton warned would result in a new crossing not available for a decade.

Responding to Monday’s announcement, Paton said there is not a single mention of the Massey Tunnel in the entire 57-page NDP platform document.

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