Back the south of the Fraser River where the Corporation of Delta  continues the sound of one set of hands clapping for a bridge while the rest of the regions’ mayors and Metro Vancouver ask for a rethink of the current Massey Tunnel and a review of where the transportation priorities of this region really are.
It was one thing to set up a reader board at the Massey Tunnel that reads that “WE NEED A BRIDGE” and that asks people to go to a “WE NEED A BRIDGE” website which magically just goes to the Corporation of Delta’s website. It’s another thing to actually post a video that contains all the one sided arguments for a ten lane bridge projected to cost nearly 4 billion dollars (carrying costs way exceed this amount) that was originally put forward and projected by the previous Provincial liberal government. Surprisingly there is an image of trees, people walking and a wheelchair in the video suggesting that everyone will be able to access this bridge by walking or biking.
The arguments trotted out in the video are the same-old-accidents, congestion, potential of an earthquake, and the fact that despite what outside experts are saying, the ten lane bridge is actually more sustainable and better for the environment than the tunnel. No mention of the degradation and industralization of the banks of the Fraser River, the taking of substantial arable farmland, or the fact this bridge is based upon a 20th century view of motordom and single occupancy cars.
Nothing new here, except the marked inability to view the whole comprehensive transportation and transit  picture of the region which does not just include this one sided view. Let’s hope for a more realistic examination by the Province very soon. Surely there is a reason that the rest of the region and Metro Vancouver has asked for a solid review of all materials and a rethink.


    1. Easier. A tunnel would have far less elevation change than a bridge, so much better matched to cycling. Also, no cross wind issues, and protection from the occasional rain shower.

      1. Will cyclists be charged a toll, too ? Given the low usage and relatively high cost perhaps a toll ten times that of cars ?
        Seriously, who cycles from Delta or Tsawwassen into Richmond or further north except a few dozen weekenders or recreational bikers ? Are they willing to contribute, or is the handout mentality that deeply developed that it has to be free, of course ?

        1. Cyclists aren’t charged a toll on the Port Mann or Golden Ears.
          If there were to be a toll, would you suggest it be based on vehicle emissions, or on vehicle weight, which is a reasonable proxy for both relative cost of construction and wear and tear. The former would make it free, and the latter would make it so low that the toll wouldn’t likely cover the cost of collecting it.
          Same issues would apply to a pedestrian toll.

        2. Who uses it? Anyone travelling on the BC Ferries out of Tsawwassen, for a start.
          People living and working on opposite sides of the bridge as well.

        3. You could find out who currently cycles by finding out how many use the bicycle shuttle now.
          Since the shuttle is so inconvenient I would assume that more would if cycling through a tunnel is allowed.

        4. Assuming about 80,000 crossings by car pr truck / day on average (see here that is about 2.7M crossings a year.
          On a $4B bridge at 3% interest that is $120M in interest costs or $5 – $6 per crossing, per car.
          What’s the bike portion thereof ? $50 M ? How many bike crossing a day ? 100 ? more on weekends, say 200 ? or 10,000 a year say to be generous as surely in the winter there’d be far fewer ?
          take say $50M for the bike lanes at 3% or $1.5M cost divided by 10,000 crossings and I arrive at $150/bike crossing.
          far FAR higher per bike crossing than a car. Let’s keep that in mind please.
          Maybe my math if off a factor 2 or 3 .. so only $50/crossing ? Still about 10 times that of a car ?

        5. Thomas, bridges built to carry bikes don’t cost the same as bridges built to carry motor vehicles, so not 10 times, lol.

        6. Why did you select 10,000 crossings per year? The closest comparison with active counters is Lions Gate. Those counters showed 71,000 bikes just in July 2017. Even countering the winter months, there are over 40,000 crossings per month on average. So for that bridge, your 10,000 figure comes up in one week. Doesn’t seem very generous. Seems more like one of those famous “nobody uses the bike lanes” arguments.
          As to costs, the last new crossing of the Fraser where bike and pedestrian lane costs were broken out reported costs of $10 m. For both bikes and pedestrians.

  1. Perhaps it’s time to adopt a new approach and proactively encourage transportation demand management.
    Building big fat freeways results in a big fat demand for more traffic and cars. After years of appalling traffic and air pollution China decided to restrict the supply of cars by enacting a lottery system to buy them within set limits. Singapore requires you to buy an expensive pre-licence certificate that first allows you the right to own a car before driving on their limited road space. Either way both methods restrict the supply of cars by getting ahead of the demand curve and pushing back.
    The key point here is that both China and Singapore concurrently launched major transit projects planned over just a few years, China especially so with over 3,000 km of metro lines completed to 2014 in its biggest cities and climbing. Most were built since 2008, indicating a phenomenal growth in ridership while their GDP increased.
    There is a recent worldwide phenomenon where car dependence is decoupling from economic growth, which effectively cancels out the cars/freeways = prosperity narrative (Newman and Kenworthy 2015). The decoupling also applies to oil dependency and per capita emissions.
    The NDP could fix the recently discovered financial problems within ICBC (that resulted from mismanagement by the BC Liberals) by charging more for the privilege of driving private cars on expensive public roads, then moving toward restricting the supply of cars. The government should concurrently launch a consultation process and feasibility study toward a major build-out of LRT in the suburbs with an accompanying land use initiative to urbanize, and provide more aggressive transit improvements in the city.
    Delta is too small to hold the Metro and province hostage to myths that excuse car dependence and incoherence regarding public finance.

    1. The key is that the transit infrastructure needs to be in place. You can’t tell people to park their cars and wait half an hour for the bus to get to work. You need to give them a realistic alternative. Build the transit then people will believe that there is an alternative.

  2. Delta is following the will of the people. Good for them!
    All opinion polls to date show overwhelming support and desire for the bridge.
    InSights West, NRG & Peak, then last month Postmedia have all published poll results, the latest again with double those supporting the new bridge to those opposing and only 5% suggesting doing nothing!
    The new bridge is what the people want.

    1. I think most people are agnostic to a new tunnel or a new bridge. Just MORE THROUGHPUT PLEASE.
      It seems to me that renovating the existing tunnels and adding 2 x 2 more tunnels (with bike lanes) beside it is the cheaper way to go.

      1. The logistics of new tunnels to complement the existing one is extremely complicated, and the Delta Report corroborates this. The disruption to the river bed, the extra farmland required for the entrances and exits, as well as the merging lanes connecting into the old existing lanes on Hwy 99 north and south, Steveston Highway east and west, River Road north, as well as Highway 17 north and south. Dedicated transit and bike lanes.
        It’s complicated.

    2. ( Honest Ed) The new bridge is what the (DELTA) people want :: But do the (other BC ) people want to pay for it ?

      1. Bob, In answer to your question we now have the latest Angus Reid poll that confirms what all other polls have shown, that two thirds of all people in the lower mainland do want the new bridge.
        It is noteworthy that NDP supporters voted 2-1 for the new bridge.

  3. Build a bridge for the big trucks. Keep them out of the tunnel. They slow everyone down. Months ago, someone suggested a bridge from Boundary road over the Fraser River to the Tilbury area. A new truck route.

  4. I don’t care if it’s a new bridge or new tunnel, but you cannot re-use the existing tunnel. Sorry- it’s way too old and unsafe.

  5. I was employed as a Materials Consultant during the 2006 Seismic upgrade to the George Massey Tunnel. I witnessed both Kenaiden Construction and their sub; BAT Construction apply materials. Many of the areas were repaired with Shotcrete as the repair sections were large enough to warrant it’s use. Other areas of the tunnel were in such a state of disrepair that we simply left them. Removing them would cause further and vast, expansive repairs to be completed and this were/is not feasible. The tunnel is most certainly in a state and age that it needs to be replaced. If you don’t believe me, next time you drive through the tunnel, you will note the crossbeams upon entering from either side. Both have been wrapped in fishing netting. Ask yourself… why…?

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