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Massey Tunnel replacement could cause more problems: report

RICHMOND (NEWS1130) – The new bridge that will be built to replace the Massey Tunnel could lead to a drop in carpooling and transit ridership, according to a report that’s going to Metro Vancouver’s Transportation Committee today.

“An expanded facility without additional complementary measures to discourage single occupant vehicles and to encourage carpooling, transit, and cycling would indeed be deficient and short-sighted,” says the report.

“Unfettered access could easily result in a congested facility. Further, an expanded facility may simply move the ‘bottleneck’ further downstream or upstream.”

The report also questions whether people who avoid the tunnel at all costs because of traffic gridlock will decide to take more trips because of the improved travel times the bridge will create.

It could also bring more commuters over from their alternate routes, such as the Alex Fraser Bridge.

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson, who has been lobbying the BC government to replace the tunnel for years, doesn’t make much of the report.

“Someone is dreaming in Technicolor,” she tells News1130.

“To think someone will get out of their car after they build a new structure is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. The thing has been studied to death. The fact of the matter is the tunnel has been over capacity for a long time. If people took the time to read the reports from the province, they would see very clearly that it’s way over capacity.”

Jackson was stuck in traffic on her way to Highway 99 from Delta as she spoke with us.

Construction on the new bridge is expected to start in 2017.