In the “we just hoped this would go away” department, the Province’s ten lane bridge replacing the Massey Tunnel now has a short list of firms eager to spend their man years building it.

The bridge is to replace the Massey Tunnel for a bunch of reasons that keeps changing like the seasons. First we were told the tunnel was redundant because of the deeper drafts of ocean going ships that needed to access the reaches of the Fraser River to the east. Then we heard that the Massey Tunnel would fall apart in an earthquake and was unsound, a claim refuted by the son of George Massey who had championed the creation of the tunnel. The latest reason and the one I enjoy the most, is that the bridge will cut pollution by decreasing the idling times of vehicles waiting to go through the tunnel. There has been no comment from the Province about what happens when all that traffic going northbound hits the Oak Street Bridge, and whether the peak hour tunnel congestion idling might will just transfer to another place.

But onward to the short list of bridge builders. As reported by Business in Vancouver three consortiums have come forward to bid on this 3.5 billion dollar bridge, including a group called Pacific Skyway Partners which includes SNC-Lavalin Capital Inc., Fluor Canada Ltd. and John Laing Investment Ltd.

As stated by Business in Vancouver “The World Bank debarred SNC-Lavalin Inc. and more than 100 of its affiliated companies in April 2013 for 10 years over bribery related to the World Bank-funded Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project in Bangladesh and a power project in Cambodia.  SNC-Lavalin Inc. is a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin Group, and, at the time, represented more than 60% of its business…SNC-Lavalin is facing several criminal and civil court actions inside and outside Canada. A federal preliminary court hearing about corruption charges related to its contracts in Libya is scheduled for September 2018.”

Business in Vancouver also reports that Gwyn Morgan, who was chair of SNC-Lavalin and just retired  advised Premier Christy Clark when she won the BC Liberal leadership in 2011. Clark named him to chair the Industry Training Authority Crown corporation in 2014. SNC-Lavalin was the firm that did the design build of the Evergreen Line SkyTrain extension, and also is building a BC Hydro generating station close to Campbell River.  

The other two consortiums are Gateway Mobility Solutions  and Lower Mainland Connectors, and their involved companies can be found on the Business in Vancouver link.  This new ten lane bridge should have its ribbon cutting opening in 2022, reducing idling on either side of the bridge.