VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The only Metro Vancouver mayor in favour of a new ten-lane bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel is speaking out in favour of a newly-ordered technical review.
The province says an engineer has been hired to conduct an independent technical review of the crossing.
The first focus of this review is to look at the lifetime, safety, seismic vulnerability and current congestion level.
That review is due in the Spring.
Lois Jackson says recent conversations she’s had with BC’s Transportation Minister have been productive.
“We need to get along very well in terms of wanting the best things for the people. The things that people need, what the economy needs and what we have to have in order to move forward. I am really happy that she is dealing with it as an issue for the Lower Mainland.”
In September, Claire Trevena halted plans for the 3.5-billion dollar bridge linking Richmond with Delta.
Patrick Condon is with the School of Architecture at UBC, he says short-term politics are getting in the way of dealing with long-term projects.
He is also taking issue with some of the major plans for replacing the tunnel.
“Particularly in the Lower Mainland, we seem to have a Manhattan level appetite for infrastructure with a Cleveland level tax base.”
He notes Jackson is the only mayor in the region who supports a replacement bridge.
“Because they realize that $3-billion spent there means $3-billion less spent in other parts of the area.”
While Jackson says people are getting impatient.
“People have just been shaking their heads. They are so concerned about all the time and effort and trouble that has gone into the past and the analysis and the consultations and so on. It took such a long time.”
Condon believes short-term politics have hurt long-term projects.
“There seems to be no provincial commitment to long-range planning, just the immediate demands of the next election and how to swing a certain legislative district to your side.”