Delta Mayor George Harvie is back as vice-chair of Metro Vancouver’s George Massey Crossing Task Force.
Regional district board chair Sav Dhaliwal, who will be chair of the committee, recently made the announcement of the standing committee structure and appointments for 2021.
Harvie, who is also on the region’s Performance and Audit Committee, got other mayors together to form a working group on solutions to a tunnel replacement following the NDP government's decision to scrap the previous Liberal government’s 10-lane bridge plan.
Concerned about the timeline getting another crossing built, the group formed a consensus and put it forward to the region.
Harvie subsequently became part of Metro’s new task force.
After looking at several options, the region’s mayors eventually agreed to put forward a recommendation to government to have a new eight-lane immersed tunnel built.
The government earlier this year unveiled two possible new crossing options, one being the eight-lane tunnel while another would be a bridge with the same number of lanes.
The transportation ministry notes the eight-lane immersed tube option would have a similar grade as a bridge, while having low property impacts. It would also be taller inside than the current tunnel, requiring a deeper trench in the river.
The ministry notes that while there would be in-river impacts during construction, there’s also potential for in-river habitat enhancement.
The option would also be a shorter crossing, compared to a bridge, while having a comparable cost.
Both options would have dedicated transit lanes.
A business case on the options has been completed and is now in the hands of the ministry.
The next step is for government to review the submission, consult with partners and stakeholders and make a final decision regarding the crossing, according to the ministry.
Once a thorough review of the business case has been completed, government will decide on an option. The business case will only be made public following that decision.