City of Delta report says province could shave $1B from bridge to replace Massey Tunnel
The City of Delta says a bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel could actually be nearly a billion dollars cheaper than the original estimate.
The cost to replace the ageing tunnel with a 10-lane bridge has been pegged at $3.5 billion.
However, a report to Delta Council in February says the $3.5-billion estimate was only one of several bids to do the work, a fact it says has “surprisingly” not been well reported. It says a lower, competing bid was entered to do the job for $2.6 billion, “placing the bridge as the lowest cost option by a significant margin.”
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The $2.6 billion differs greatly from the nearly $12 billion the NDP quoted last May. That figure came from a document leaked to the party which suggested that the total cost of financing debt to build the project would come to about $8 billion, on top of the bridge construction itself.
The future of the project remains in question.
The province estimated in September that at least $70 million has already been spent on preparatory work for the tunnel replacement.
At that time, the NDP government put the replacement on hold, commissioning an independent review of the project that is due to be delivered at some point this spring. However the NDP’s 2018 budget allocated no funds for the crossing.
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Delta has been a strong advocate of the bridge, arguing the current tunnel is one of the worst bottlenecks in the region. However, the City of Richmond has been staunchly opposed, arguing that the bridge, as envisioned, is too expensive and will add too much new traffic on its side of the river.
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