Toll bridge to replace tunnel makes little sense

Re: “Toll bridge to replace tunnel makes sense,” Vancouver Sun editorial, Dec. 18, 2015.

While tolls may make sense, the $3.5 billion project does not.

Yes, there has been a need for “major remedial work to bring [the Massey Tunnel] up to today’s standards.” The first of two planned stages, strengthening joints between tube segments, ended a decade ago. The second stage involves solidifying the matter that underlies the tube. Tunnel users are owed that modest-cost safeguard now, future bridge or not.

Possibly, “Rebuilding the tunnel would have a greater environmental impact” for the worse, and environmental advocates do not suggest it. They typically suggest refurbishing, improving access and egress, and adding two lanes for enhanced transit. The segments of an added tube in the tunnel corridor can be built in a ship drydock. And by nature the tunnel concrete gets stronger with age.

Finally, why assume “no plans to dredge the river to allow for larger vessels”? Two years ago, The Sun reported this: “Port Metro Vancouver CEO Robin Silvester said he supports the plan for a new bridge since it could reopen the river to deeper-draft vessels.” To be candid, it might as well be called the Port Metro Bridge.

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