The provincial government is being aggressive with its timetable to get the Massey Tunnel replacement project under construction. Because the replacement bridge and Highway 99 expansion project is a large, the provincial government needs to seek feedback from people and organizations in the region.
This project will have a profound effect on our region, and Metro Vancouver staff have questions and concerns about the project. The provincial government only gave a little over a month for feedback on the Project Definition Report which forms the justification for whole tunnel replacement/highway expansion program.
Metro Vancouver staff have noted that the public consultation period is short, and have requested that the province extended the comment period to April to allow time to properly review the project planning documents.
Besides the impact the project will have on the region, it will also have a direct impact on the regional district’s assets.
|Metro Vancouver assets around Massey Tunnel replacement bridge site. Select image to enlarge.|
Metro Vancouver staff have identified the following areas to be addressed by the province:
- Change to Regional Transportation Patterns
- How much traffic will be diverted to the Alex Fraser Bridge?
- How will the Tsawwassen First Nations regional shopping centres impact traffic along the Highway 99 corridor?
- What changes will occur with congestion on the Alex Fraser, Oak Street, Knight Street, and Queensborough bridges?
- How will transportation-related greenhouse gas emission change?
- System-wide Transportation Demand Management
- How does this project fit in with the regional growth strategy and Mayors’ Vision for Regional Transportation?
- Will the province update its tolling policy?
- Population and Employment Projections
- What impact will the 10-lane bridge have on the rate of urban development, and pressure to develop agricultural lands.
- Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- What impact will the project have on air quality in the region?
- How will the project reduce the exposure of air pollutants for people walking or cycling across the bridge?
- Climate Change Adaptation
- Are climate change impacts considered in the bridge design and restoration projects?
- Health Analysis
- Will the province consider a Health Impact Assessment to fully account for the health outcome changes that will occur due to this project?
- Agricultural Lands
- How much agricultural land will be needed for this construction of the project?
- What impact will this project have on farming?
- Deas Island Regional Park
- What changes will happen to the Deas Island Park trails, and how will those changes be integrate into a regional trail network?
- What habitat will be created/destroyed/restored as part of the project?
- How will the park's visitor experience change during and after the construction of the bridge?
- Experience the Fraser Concept Plan
- How does the project support the Experience the Fraser Concept Plan?
- Construction and Long-term Maintenance Access
- Will the provincial government be using Deas Island Regional Park for access during and after construction of the new bridge?
- How will Metro Vancouver be able to access the Lulu Island-Delta Main?
- Potential Impacts on Regional Utilities
- How will the project impact the River Road West Main and Lulu Island-Delta Main water lines?
The Massey Tunnel replacement project, and associated highway expansion, will have major impacts on the region. Instead of trying to ram the project through, the province should take the time to understand both the positive and negative changes that will happen in Metro Vancouver as a result of the project.