On April 4, 2013, Tunnel Engineering Consultants (TEC is a global market leader in immersed tunnel design) presented a plan that proposed twinning the George Massey Tunnel and options for future use of the tunnel. Those options were as follows:
1. Assess structural integrity and durability.
2. Increase river depth by replacing riprap with asphalt mattress.
3. Introduction of longitudinal ventilation and use current ventilation ducts as escape cell and for the passage of pedestrians and cyclists.
The former Liberal provincial government could have made this information available to the public six years ago if it had accepted the findings of Tunnel Engineering Consultants and the twinning of the George Massey Tunnel would have been constructed by now.
A unanimous consensus by the mayors of the regional district supporting twinning the George Massey Tunnel is encouraging to say the least. One has to wonder why they made reference to a deep bored tunnel instead of the shallower trenched George Massey Tunnel.
Perhaps the City of Delta made this preference to a deep bored tunnel in support of the Port of Vancouver’s demand for the removal of the George Massey Tunnel so it could then bring deeper ships up the Fraser River.
Let us hope saner heads will prevail and the new improved twinned tunnel will be installed in accordance with good environmental engineering practices similar to that of the George Massey Tunnel, and the present George Massey Tunnel will remain in good use for another 60 years.
Douglas George Massey