Massey Tunnel Open House clues, March 13, 2013

Inside the George Massey Tunnel under the South Arm of the Fraser River

This is a followup to the article immediately below it, which includes the relevant hyperlinks. Since it has been requested, I’ll comment on a few points from the discussion at the Richmond open house for Phase 2 of the “George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project,” Wednesday, March 13, 2013, with lots of interested citizens participating.

  • First, the main speaker for the project seemed to me to be consistently over-favouring bridge options over the tunnel options. (I could recognize this because of a lot of relevant background reading, but my explanations would be too lengthy to include here.)
  • Second, the project team expressed an intention to carefully evaluate the environmental costs of the options but also gave away that it is too reliant on an environmental review, which is only done for the selected option when it may be too late. (We know from an ongoing Vancouver Airport fuel delivery situation that it would have been very helpful if the environmental aspects of all possible options had been evaluated before one was chosen.)
  • Third, shortcomings of Option 5, which is a new crossing to connect with No. 8 Road, are being underestimated. The route would inevitably go from the South Arm through Richmond to the North Arm and cross it to Boundary Road. That would cut a north-south swath a thousand feet wide through Richmond farmland. The traffic would then have nowhere to go, since Boundary Road gets clogged (with long backups at Kingsway).
  • Fourth, there also continue to be proposals for adding four lanes of South Arm crossing on the existing Highway 99 route with little expressed thought about how the infrastructure in Richmond and out of Richmond to the north would handle all the resulting traffic pouring north into Richmond.
  • Fifth, on the positive side, the project team is seemingly making an effort to do real consultation. (If  the team members are really just going through the motions, they are good actors.) In particular, I had a productive exchange with the project engineer that was based largely on the preliminary—but thorough—engineering studies for the current “Fraser River highway crossing at Deas Island” that were done in 1955. (Both of us have read those studies that investigated and compared the bridge and tunnel alternatives.)


  1. 1

    Nice. Good feedback.

    I have referenced your article here about the timing of the environmental assessments ….

    • 2
      cathy wilander Says:

      We are organizing a picket and leaflet outside the Ministry of Hwy’s open house for the proposed Massey Tunnel Replacement project:
      Sat. March 16
      10:00 a.m-1 p.m
      Coast Tsawwassen Inn
      1665 56th St.

      Come out and join us and speak out for our community!
      We need better transit not more tunnels/freeways!
      VMC article:

      Organized by the Delta/Richmond Chapter
      The Council of Canadians.

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