The province has chosen three teams to bid on design-build work to replace the aging George Massey Tunnel, with the winner expected to be “on board” by spring.
On Wednesday (Oct. 18), the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced three bid teams have been invited to participate in the next phase of procurement for the Fraser River Tunnel Project following a request for qualifications in June.
The three team — Cross Fraser Partnership, Daewoo-GS JV and Fraser River Tunnel Constructors — will submit their proposals to enter into a Design Early Works Agreement with the province, and the project’s design-build team will be chosen in spring 2024.
“We are moving ahead on delivering improvements for the thousands of people who rely on this crossing each day and for better goods movement across the region,” Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Rob Fleming said in a press release. “Advancing the new tunnel will also increase trade to the United States and support a vital link to Vancouver International Airport.”
Announced in August of 2021, the new toll-free crossing will feature three general-purpose travel lanes and one dedicated transit lane in each direction, as well as separated bike and pedestrian pathways to support active transportation options in the region. It will be about one kilometre longer than the current tunnel, and three metres deeper to accommodate double-decker buses.
The new immersed tube tunnel, which will be located immediately upstream of the existing one, is expected to be operational by 2030 and cost an estimated $4.15 billion, which includes the cost of removing the current tunnel.
The project’s scope also includes replacing the existing Deas Slough Bridge and adding an additional southbound lane on Highway 99 between Westminster Highway in Richmond and Highway 17 in Delta.
Meanwhile, Highway 99 corridor improvements are already underway. A new connection for transit buses between Bridgeport Road and Highway 99 southbound opened last October, and new bus-on-shoulder lanes south of the Massey Tunnel are “nearing completion,” according to the ministry.
Construction of a new five-lane interchange in Steveston is also underway and is on track to be in operation in 2025.
According to a ministry press release, the new tunnel and approaches once complete will allow traffic to flow smoothly at 80 kilometres per hour — well above the current average of 30 kilometres per hour.
Concurrent with procurement, the project is making its way through the province’s environmental assessment process after receiving its readiness decision on Sept. 14.
The Cross Fraser Partnership bid team is comprised of Bouygues Construction Canada Inc., Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas Canada Ltd., Pomerleau BC Inc., Arcadis Canada Inc., and Boskalis Canada Dredging and Marine Services Ltd.
Daewoo-GS JV is made up of Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd., GS Engineering and Construction Corp., Hatch Ltd., and Ramboll A/S.
Fraser River Tunnel Constructors is comprised of Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc., Aecon Constructions (a division of Aecon Construction Group Inc.), Flatiron Constructors Canada Limited, Strukton Immersion Projects B.V., AECOM Canada Ltd., and Tunnel Engineering Consultants VOF.
— with files from Aaron Hinks, Black Press Media