That 3.5 billion dollar project that just seems to go ahead regardless of public input  from others in Metro Vancouver or from other Mayors has just reached another (no pun intended) milestone-it’s out for preliminary construction work tender.

The Delta Optimist states that the contracts are for  “site preparation in order to improve ground conditions for future lane widening.” One contract will be for the Delta side of the river-the other will be for the Richmond riverbank. All of this despite concerns regarding the soft river delta soil and  environmental impacts. This land is part of the one per cent of alluvial soils that used to produce  86 per cent of the vegetables in British Columbia.

As the Delta Optimist states “Last week project director Geoff Freer made a presentation to Delta council to provide an update as well as reiterate many of the positives of the 10-lane bridge, which also includes an extensive series of road projects on both sides of the river.“If we don’t build a new bridge or build a new crossing, things will certainly get a lot worse. So, with or without the project, traffic is going to increase and we will see continued congestion that will continue to get worse,” said Freer.   He also explained how other options, including twinning the existing tunnel, aren’t feasible.”

The bridge should be completed  for 2022 and will be tolled. Delta Mayor Lois Jackson is advocating a regional “buck a bridge” toll so that all bridges are universally priced, and this bridge is used. The Province is anticipating approval from the Federal government environmental assessment and the success of their application to the Agricultural Land Commission, expected very soon.