The Mayor of Richmond Malcolm Brodie in the Richmond News counters the conjecture and misinformation emerging post-election on the potential rethink of the Massey Bridge proposal, now estimated to cost $12 Billion with carrying costs. As Dr. Kat Volk a former University of British Columbia planetary scientist mentioned this amount of money could fund several planetary missions such as Cassini instead of the vast majority of single-occupant motor vehicles using the Massey Tunnel.
While recognizing that the Massey Tunnel “bottleneck” impacts the economy by fettering the free flow of people and goods, Mayor Brodie notes “the current bridge proposal is simply the wrong project to effectively address the problem. Because the current plan contravenes the Regional Growth Strategy and affects the environment, the Metro Vancouver Regional District board almost unanimously opposes the proposed bridge.”
The Mayor also mentions former provincial Minister of Transportation Kevin Falcon who had wanted to ease congestion through strengthening and twinning the existing tunnel, while making investments in bus or rail mass transit. Developing a huge bridge at this location will shift congestion to the Oak Street Bridge, clog adjacent Richmond streets near the highway, and negatively impact local farmland.
Currently, the proposal calls for a massive bridge three kilometres in length suspended from two towers, each of which is approximately the equivalent height of a 60 storey building. Bedrock in the area is estimated to be over 1,000 feet down. The new tolled bridge may also move traffic elsewhere. “From the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridge experience expected tolls will divert much of the traffic to non-tolled already-congested alternatives such as the Alex Fraser Bridge.”
Mayor Brodie concludes :”We urgently need to solve the congestion issue that exists around the Massey Tunnel. Let’s reconsider this ill-conceived plan for a massive structure that compromises the environment at a cost to our grandchildren of billions of unnecessary dollars while it provides only a bandaid solution.”