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Safety improvement work underway at Massey Tunnel

Work is underway to improve visibility and brightness in the Massey Tunnel
Massey Tunnel. Photo: Getty Images

Work is underway to improve visibility and brightness in the Massey Tunnel.

The contract for the work – totalling $19 million – was awarded to Vancouver-based firm Black & McDonald, which itself is part of a $40 million suite of interim safety and reliability improvements, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The current improvement work includes:

  • Converting the lights on the tunnel walls and ceiling to an LED standard, which will help increase visibility, save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Upgrading ventilation and electrical systems
  • Improving tunnel drainage, to prevent ice build-up and water from pooling at tunnel entrances

These safety improvements are already underway, and should be completed by spring 2021, according to the ministry.

Most of the work will be done at night to reduce impacts to traffic, according to the ministry. However, drivers and cyclists are advised to watch for night-time lane closures and obey all traffic-control personnel, construction speed limits and signs.

Lane closures will be announced in advance by the ministry. For updates, check and @DriveBC on Twitter for the most up-to-date information.

 “We continue to move ahead with our work to replace the George Massey Tunnel, but in the meantime we are making safety improvements inside the tunnel for drivers who use this route every day,” said Claire Trevena, minister of transportation and infrastructure.

“Plans for the new, future crossing are underway with a business case expected to be ready for the fall.”

The ministry said it is working with contractors and WorkSafeBC to ensure the health and safety of workers on site during COVID-19.

For example, the provincial health officer has advised that construction employers ensure that workers maintain a physical distance of at least two metres, and anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 will have to self-isolate at home for at least 10 days.

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