Two-thirds of Metro Vancouver residents support Massey Tunnel replacement

COURIER STAFF / VANCOUVER COURIER

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A recent poll suggests two-thirds of Metro Vancouver residents support replacing the Massey Tunnel with a bridge.

A recently released Angus Reid survey found that most Metro Vancouver residents support the plan to replace the George Massey Tunnel with a higher-capacity bridge.

The results, however, vary from region to region — 37 per cent of respondents in the Richmond/Delta area said they strongly support replacing the tunnel with a bridge, while 25 per cent of Vancouver respondents strongly support the plan.

Views on replacing the tunnel with a bridge also vary by age and political leaning — 81 per cent of survey respondents in the 18 to 34 age range support the plan, while only 67 per cent of those aged 55 and older were in favour.

While 90 per cent of those who voted for the B.C. Liberals support construction of a new bridge, those who cast ballots for the NDP are less supportive, but still favour the plan by a two-to-one margin — 64 per cent in favour versus 36 per cent opposed.

Eighty per cent of survey respondents said they had travelled through the tunnel at least once in the past year. One in six (17 per cent) reported using the tunnel at least once a week, while 28 per cent use the crossing at least once a month. And most say they have encountered delays in the tunnel at least a few times, just 22 per cent said they never or hardly ever get delayed.

The government announced Wednesday it will proceed with an independent technical review of the Highway 99 corridor.

“The review will focus on what level of improvement is needed in the context of regional and provincial planning, growth and vision, as well as which option would be best for the corridor, be it the proposed 10-lane bridge, a smaller bridge or tunnel,” the Ministry of Transportation stated in a news release.

In the meantime, the ministry will cancel existing work being conducted on Highway 99, which was already tallied $66 million.