VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The BC Liberals claim the NDP government has abandoned the project to replace the Massey Tunnel, despite a bid to build a bridge for hundreds of millions of dollars below what was initially projected.
According to the official opposition, there was a bid submitted to the province to build a bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel for $2.6 billion — $900 million less than the project was estimated to cost what is about $3.5 billion.
Former Transportation Minister, now opposition MLA Todd Stone is asking why the NDP is choosing not to move ahead with that option. “Doing it for $2.6 billion versus the project estimate of $3.5-billion is a pretty good deal for the taxpayers of British Columbia,” said Stone during question period at the legislature in Victoria.
However, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena insists there isn’t enough public support for the bridge project. “We want to make sure that we get the right project that is really going to solve the problems that people across the Lower Mainland are facing,” says Trevena.
“The minister has been trying to pretend the government is not leaving more than 80,000 commuters stranded in gridlock traffic twice a day,” says Delta South Liberal MLA Ian Paton. “Now we have proof the NDP has been deliberately misleading British Columbians. The document is clear: ‘We’ll pay for this instead of replacing the Massey Tunnel — even if it is a safety risk.’ It’s so frustrating that the minister is doing a ‘consultation dance’ when they have no such intentions. Instead, she’s throwing five years of work and any hope those commuters have of a quick trip into the garbage bin.”
Earlier this month, the NDP government announced it was putting the Massey Tunnel replacement project on hold, as it announced that it had scrapped the procurement process.