Richmond city council is urging B.C.’s premier to suspend all work on the George Massey Tunnel replacement project and consider whether the tunnel should be twinned instead of scrapped in favour of a bridge. A report from director of transportation Victor Wei examining alternatives to the proposed bridge was presented to council on Monday, with eight of nine council members supporting the recommendations in the report. “We have been trying to constructively comment on this proposal from the first day it was announced. We have been disregarded and ignored in the questions that we have asked,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “I think that it’s absolutely critical to the future of our city that there be a re-examination of this project. It’s so important in so many different ways.” Construction of a controversial 10-lane, $3.5-billion bridge to replace the tunnel is a project that the B.C. Liberals advocated for while they were in power, but the New Democrats said they would review when they formed a government last week. So far, Premier John Horgan has not said he will cancel the project or stop work. Site preparation in Richmond and Delta began in April. B.C. Hydro is also relocating its transmission line from the tunnel to an overhead crossing, and work began on that project in November 2016. Numerous studies and reports have been produced since the late 1980s regarding the improvement or expansion of the tunnel and Highway 99. It’s generally agreed upon that the congestion around the 58-year-old tunnel is unsustainable and safety improvements need to be made.
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