Langley Councillor and Price Tag contributor Nathan Pachal has outlined a sensible alternative to the billion dollar proposed Massey Bridge-just toll the existing tunnel.

Nathan has reviewed the proposed Massey Bridge’s documents and traffic volumes, including the document suggesting that once the Massey Bridge is tolled, a lot of traffic will be steaming towards the Alex Fraser Bridge. Mayor of Delta Lois Jackson, who is also the only mayor supportive of the Massey Bridge project is aware this will happen, and has suggested that ALL the bridges be tolled to keep traffic on the proposed new Massey Bridge through Delta.

Pachal thinks building a new span may not be worth it. “It’ll actually end up with less traffic on that with the toll than at any level seen since the 1980s.” He suggests if you simply tolled the existing tunnel, the replacement project’s $3.5 billion tab could be better spent on improving transit in the region. “Obviously, there are things that need to be replaced. I would say, again, of all the crossings that are in need of replacement, it would be the Pattullo Bridge. That one has structural issues with it, chunks of it are falling into the [Fraser] River.”

Nathan notes on his blog  “a new tolled Massey Replacement Bridge will have less traffic volume on it in 2045 than in 1984, an un-tolled Alex Fraser Bridge will see an increase in traffic volume, and transit and tolling have been shown to reduce congestion, it appears that $3.5 billion would be better invested in improving transit in our region.”

Imagine if we improved transit in the region and then used tolls to further reduce congestion, using those monies to maintain the transportation network. A simple but inspired solution from Nathan Pachal.