A new eight-lane tunnel, to be completed by 2030, will replace the aging George Massey Tunnel.
Provincial officials announced the plan today, following many years of uncertainty about the future replacement project. In addition to four lanes in each direction—one of which will be earmarked for transit use—there will also be a five-metre wide separated tunnel for cyclists and pedestrians, who are not permitted to use the existing tunnel.
While some elements of the project will begin this year—including improvements to the Steveston interchange— the tunnel will not enter the construction phase until 2026. The environmental assessment process prior to construction is estimated to take about three years. The existing tunnel will be decommissioned following opening of the new tunnel, a process which should take two years.
Consultation has taken place with groups including local governments and TransLink. Engagement with Indigenous groups will continue. At peak times, it is estimated that the non-peak direction will be significantly faster due to the additional lanes, while the peak direction will likely be similar to current conditions.
The new tunnel will be located just upstream of the existing tunnel. Its cost is estimated at $4.15 billion.
Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel