It’s been exactly one-year since the B.C. government cancelled the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project, and with no plans in place to recommence construction, Delta residents face yet another school year of accidents and congestion.
“How much longer will Delta residents have to endure an unsafe and unhealthy daily commute?” said Achieving for Delta’s mayoral candidate George Harvie. “Every single day I hear this issue on the doorsteps – families are frustrated by the province’s lack of action on a new crossing, and from being late for dance class or sports practice, to missing important appointments, it’s affecting their quality of life.
“Doing nothing is not an option. That’s why as mayor, one of my top priorities will be getting to the table with the federal and provincial governments and a newly-elected Mayor’s Council to push for the replacement of the aging George Massey Tunnel.”
A critical component of Canada’s transportation network, the George Massey Tunnel supports the local, provincial, and federal economies, as well as facilitating trade through the Asia-Pacific Gateway. Since opening in 1959, Metro Vancouver’s population and economy have grown significantly, and with an average of 94,000 weekday users, the tunnel has deteriorated to the point of crumbling. It’s estimated that each of those commuters lose an average of 30 minutes a day, which amounts to one million hours each year of vehicles spent idling and releasing harmful greenhouse emissions.
“Not only is this commute congested, unsafe, and environmentally harmful – it’s seriously affecting economic development in Delta. In order to attract workers and investment to our community, we need a safe, healthy, and efficient flow of goods and people into the city,” said Harvie. “That’s why Achieving for Delta is taking a strong stance on a bridge. This option will relieve one of the worst highway bottlenecks in Canada and save businesses and commuters millions of dollars in time lost due to congestion and travel delays. A bridge is also our best choice in protecting Delta’s Agricultural Land Reserve and will dramatically improve emergency response times and reduce vehicle collisions by 35 percent.”
Harvie says he will also press the government for diversified transportation options on the replacement project to promote healthier, low-carbon transit choices and move the region towards its sustainability goals.
“I have a proven record in working across government lines to deliver for the people of Delta, and I’m prepared to do what it takes to move this project forward. On this one-year anniversary of the tunnel replacement cancellation, I’m asking for your support in securing a new George Massey Bridge. Delta residents deserve no less,” he said.
The shovel-ready project, which has been in planning since 2012, has received its environmental assessment certificate and has completed the bidding process.
Delta’s civic election takes place on Oct. 20, with advanced voting to take place Oct. 6, 10, and 11.