While the Mayor of Delta rues on CBC news that the unsustainable, overbuilt, multi-billion dollar Massey Bridge may not be constructed due to the potential change in Provincial leadership, all the other Mayors in the Metro area are welcoming the chance for a rethink. As reporter Bal Brach noted “Many Metro Vancouver mayors spoke out against the project last summer, saying the bridge was “car-oriented” and diverting money from public transit and other transportation priorities…New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Coté said he hopes the next government will focus on the priorities outlined by the Mayors’ Council — including improvements to the Pattullo Bridge.”
Despite the fact that the Pattullo Bridge had reached the end of its life expectancy, Provincial interests allowed the Massey Tunnel replacement project to forge ahead of the Patullo. The Richmond News reporter Graeme Wood states that while the Provincial Ministry of Transportation process to award the $3.5 billion dollar contract for the Massey Bridge is underway, no construction projects for the unsustainable bridge will be signed.
If the BC Green Party and BC NDP do form the government, they can scrap the bridge and consider all alternatives. While NDP leader John Horgan wanted to reassess the Massey Tunnel/Bridge before the Provincial election campaign, “all four Richmond NDP candidates said they would prefer a twinned tunnel. Green candidate Michael Wolfe favoured adding an LRT line to Surrey, along the corridor.” The Mayor of Richmond has also come out in favour of twinning the existing tunnel, expanding transit, or banning truck traffic at tunnel at peak hours.
The understanding being worked out between the BC Green Party and the BC NDP includes language “to immediately improve transit and transportation infrastructure” and to work with “the Mayors’ Council consultation process to find a more fair and equitable way of funding transit for the long-term.”
While two contracts worth $17.3 million dollars have been awarded for site preparation at the bridge, approvals will be needed for further work to continue. It is indeed a new day with fresh eyes looking at sustainable transportation movement as if accessibility and regionalism really mattered. Can a tunnelled vision be far behind?