Delta residents had a chance to view initial details and ask questions about the Fraser River Tunnel Project at an open house at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn Tuesday evening.
It was part of the early engagement phase of the environmental assessment process for the Initial Project Description. The project is to be further refined based on the feedback.
The new eight-lane underwater structure is to be located approximately 40 metres upriver from the existing George Massey Tunnel, which is to be decommissioned and removed once the new tunnel is open.
A Detailed Project Description is to be ready by next summer.
According to the province, the project is subject to a provincial environmental assessment, but does not require a federal environmental assessment.
That’s because it doesn’t meet certain thresholds including, among other things, the length of the crossing and the fact it does not cross provincial or national boundaries.
The certification is expected by late 2024 with construction to be completed by 2030.
The province also notes the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) will hold more public consultation periods in future phases of the environmental assessment to seek input on more detailed information about the proposed project as it is developed.
Where the structure will be built before it’s lowered into the river is still be decided, but there’s a possibility work will take place around Deas Island on the Delta side of the Fraser River.
An open house was also scheduled for Wednesday, May 11 in Richmond with project team members and EAO staff on hand to answer questions.
The current comment period runs until June 9.
Feedback can also be provided online.
Virtual information sessions will be held on Tuesday, May 17 from noon to 1:30 p.m. and Thursday, May 19 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
To access information about the project or how to join the virtual information sessions, check: www.gov.bc.ca/EAOPublicComments.