Monday, June 9, 2014

The Massey Tunnel

This letter was sent to the ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and various news outlets as well as (MLA) Vicky Huntington on May 7, 2014. The only one to respond was Vicky Huntington. The letter points out the Massey Tunnel is far from being obsolete. Like the South Fraser Perimeter road we can plan for something far better and far less costly. It is truly amazing that this bridge is planned for this location with the demolition of the tunnel for no other reason than the desires of Port Metro Vancouver.

This letter is regarding the replacement of the Massey Tunnel. There is real concern in this region that this project is one to finance Port Metro’s desires to have more access to the North Delta harbor and that it has little to do with dealing with the REAL traffic issues of the region. The issues of increased traffic in the Richmond corridor has been minimized by your department. Never has your department shown any real data to convince anyone that this is actually true. It would be really beneficial to see this data. As well, for future growth, why is the issue of taking border traffic away from the city not addressed by this elaborate and expensive plan. Surely a bridge placed further East and avoiding Richmond and the Oak street corridor makes more sense than adding to the traffic in this congested area.

It is clear that “the (tunnel) needs are just for stabilizing the ground and replacing operating systems. If it’s found that the “tube,” the tunnel structure, can remain sound, the rest is only renovation”.  replacement of the tunnel is unwarranted. The tunnel, like the Oakland tunnel of a similar design built in 1928 will remain more than satisfactory and cost effective for many years. “The Massey Tunnel is most like the tunnel under the Maas River in Rotterdam that was completed 17 years earlier by the same Danish engineering firm. After renovation last year, it (is) doing fine. So why are we going to the expense of dismantling the tunnel when it can work in tandem with a bridge in another location and be far more effective and far less costly? And why, has Port Metro not been a part of this discussion when in reality it is the only reason that the removal of the tunnel is being considered. Surely we can do better in planning infrastructure than planning around the Port’s needs. If the Port’s needs are so prevalent why are they not a part of the negotiation and why are they not footing ANY part of the bill?

 Peter van der Velden


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