The George Massey tunnel is considered B.C.’s worst traffic congestion point, and unable to withstand a major earthquake. (Black Press file photo)

Technical review of George Massey Tunnel underway

The independent review is expected to take six months

The province is moving forward with a technical review of the George Massey Tunnel, after hiring engineer Stan Cowdell to lead the independent study.

Cowdell is the president of Westmar Project Advisors Inc., and will lead the review with the help of additional experts in geotechnical, tunnel, bridge and road construction, traffic engineering, and transportation planning fields, as recruited by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Related: What’s plan B for Massey Tunnel, opposition asks

In September, the new NDP government announced the construction of a 10-lane replacement bridge would be put on hold as the new government looked to do an independent review.

“There’s a sense that not all the options were thoroughly examined,” Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said when the review was first announced.

The procurement process, which had already begun and seen bids placed for the construction of the bridge, was cancelled in September. At the time, preliminary work on the bridge had already begun on the replacement bridge.

Related: B.C. pauses Massey bridge work to conduct new review

According to a press release sent out by the B.C. government on Nov. 1, the review’s main goal will be to look at the lifespan, safety, seismic vulnerability and current congestion of the tunnel. Cowdell will also review the technical information already produced for the replacement project and “challenge or verify the assumptions made out of that work,” the release said.

According to the terms of reference for the independent review, it will not reconsider decisions made by the environmental assessment process, the Agricultural Land Commission review, or other statutory decision-makers. The review is expected to take about six months.

Related: Massey Tunnel replacement debate spinning its wheels

Based on Cowdell’s analysis, the province will determine next steps to address safety and congestion along Highway 99.

As the review moves forward, the province said it will continue to engage with Metro Vancouver mayors to ensure future plans for Highway 99 fit into the overall vision for the Metro Vancouver region.

In the past, Delta Mayor Lois Jackson has been the only Metro Vancouver mayor in favour of the 10-lane replacement bridge. Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie has been one of the most outspoken against the bridge plan.

Related: Metro Vancouver mayors cautiously laud Massey Bridge review



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Rock-slide closes Coquihalla northbound

Highway 5 could be closed overnight in the northbound lanes

UPDATE: Wind warning has ended for Metro Vancouver

More than 34,000 BC Hydro customers in the dark on Sunday morning in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast

WIND WARNING: Metro Vancouver expecting 100 km/h gusts Saturday night

Environment Canada issues warns of possibly dangerous conditions

Agassiz tech training to connect generations

Upcoming event will have youth teaching technology to older residents

UPDATE: 24-year-old Lovepreet Dhaliwal ID’d as victim in targeted Abbotsford shooting

Location of shooting the same as where innocent bystander Ping Shun Ao killed in 2015

Week in Review – January 19

Movie filming, water upgrades and more

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read