Time to get going on bridge, Clark says during Delta stop

Liberal Leader says $3.5-billion crossing will make a huge difference in people's lives

It's time to get going with it.

Liberal Leader Christy Clark had that to say about the province's biggest bridge project ever, the controversial 10-lane span scheduled to replace the George Massey Tunnel.

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Speaking to the Optimist last Wednesday during a campaign stop in North Delta, Clark defended the $3.5-billion project, saying it will make a huge difference in the lives of those who live south of the Fraser.

"I would argue, even more importantly, you can cross the river on the bridge and know you're doing it safely with your kids in the car. It (current tunnel) so desperately needs seismic upgrading, I worry about people using that tunnel now. I think that will be a big improvement for people in South Delta," she said.

"I promised that we would do this four years ago before the last election. We have spent four years with the scientists and geotechnical people and consulting with the community, and four years later we're getting on with it. The NDP would like to study things forever. When I promise to do something, we get it done."

Clark, who is proposing a $500 annual cap on road tolls, made a stop last Thursday on Annacis Island where she talked about the importance of the project while flanked by steel workers.

Among the benefits, she said, will be 13,000 fewer tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles crossing the Fraser River, reduced congestion and improved safety that will see an estimated 35 per cent fewer collisions.

With construction now underway, the bridge is slated to open in 2022. It's expected to be in service for 125 years.

NDP Leader John Horgan said his government would twin the George Massey Tunnel, not replace it with a bridge, during a leaders debate earlier in the day.

On Monday, Clark made a second campaign stop in Delta, this time at StructureCraft Builders on River Way, where she pledged to fight for the province's forestry industry and attacked Horgan.

Flanked by Delta South hopeful Ian Paton and Delta North incumbent Scott Hamilton, Clark was highly complimentary of her two Delta candidates, describing them as "a power duo" that would fight for the municipality.

The election takes place May 9.

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