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Could new Massey Tunnel replacement lead to development?

Last Updated Dec 21, 2015 at 10:29 am PST

An artist's rendering of the Massey bridge (Source: flickr @bcgovphotos)
Summary

New bridge could produce similar reaction to 1959 when Massey Tunnel was built

Pressure will be high to develop agricultural land

DELTA (NEWS 1130) – The plan to replace the Massey Tunnel with a shiny, new bridge could mean big changes for two of Metro Vancouver’s quieter, bedroom communities.

Ken Cameron has seen this before, back in 1959 when the then Deas Island Tunnel opened in May.

Greenspace started to shrink says the former regional planner with the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD).

“You have only to look at the impact of the original Massey Tunnel. There was a huge amount of development after that.”

And he says more than five decades later, the new 10-lane Massey Tunnel replacement bridge set to open in 2022 could mean more of the same.

“While the land base is much more constrained by the Agricultural Land Reserve now and Delta is much more built up within its existing urban area, you see the ‘For Sale’ signs on the agricultural land all along Highway 17,” adds Cameron.

Even though there are policies in place to maintain certain amounts of farmland, Cameron says there will be more pressure than ever to pave over it.

“The pressure is just going to be that much greater to get land out of the Agricultural Land Reserve and build subdivisions on it for people who depend on cars to get to where they want to go,” adds Cameron.

Construction on the $3.5 billion replacement bridge is scheduled to start in 2017.