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$2.7B Bridge Moves Forward in BC

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

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A multibillion-dollar bridge project near Vancouver will move forward, after an environmental review requested by local officials was waived by the Canadian government.

The George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project is set to replace the 57-year-old Massey Tunnel, under the Fraser River Estuary, which connects the municipalities of Richmond and Delta, British Columbia. In 2013, the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced plans to build a bridge to replace the tunnel, because it is in the last decade of its useful life, and its size restricts traffic, especially larger vehicles.

Bridge rendering
Rendering and chart: B.C. Minsitry of Transportation

The George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project is set to replace the 57-year-old Massey Tunnel, under the Fraser River Estuary, with a cable-stayed bridge.

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, along with Metro Vancouver, the regional district in which the new bridge will lie, had requested an environmental review by a federal panel, but the Richmond News reports that last week, Brodie was told by Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna that the project would not be subject to such a review.

Among the concerns local officials had voiced was possible damage to the ecology of the Fraser River Estuary.

The Tunnel

According to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Massey Tunnel was originally constructed of six concrete segments, each 344 feet long and weighing 18,500 tons. Seismic upgrades, including the installation of an earthquake warning system, were made in 2006. The tunnel was named for the man who was the strongest proponent of having it built.

The new bridge is set to be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America, the Ministry says, at about 3 kilometers (1.85 miles) total. It will carry 10 lanes—eight lanes of normal traffic, plus two transit/high-occupancy lanes. The current tunnel, which is less than half a mile long, has four lanes, and a height restriction of about 13 feet, 8 inches.

Three Teams Considered

Three partnerships are being considered to design, build, partially finance and operate the new bridge. A final choice is expected by 2017, at which time construction is scheduled to commence. Some preliminary work, including site preparation, will begin sooner. The project is expected to cost CA$3.5 billion (about $2.68 billion).

Massey bridge length

The new bridge is set to be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America, the Ministry says, at about 3 kilometers (1.85 miles) total.

The three teams are:

  • Gateway Mobility Solutions, which includes ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc., Aecon Concessions, HOCHTEIF PPP Solutions North America, and Star America Infrastructure Solutions, along with design-build contractors Dragados Canada Inc. and Flatiron Constructors Canada Limited;
     
  • Lower Mainland Connectors, which comprises Kiewit Canada, Macquarie and VINCI Concessions, along with design-build contractors B.A. Blacktop, Janin Atlas Inc. and Peter Kiewit Infrastructure Co.; and
     
  • Pacific Skyway Partners, which includes Fluor Canada Ltd., John Laing Investment Limited and SNC-Lavalin Capital Inc., and design-build contractors American Bridge Company, Fluor Canada Ltd., and SNC-Lavalin Constructors (Pacific) Inc.

Other Work

The project, beyond the design and construction of the bridge itself, includes the replacement or upgrade of several interchanges and overpasses on the nearby Highway 99 and Highway 91, and the construction of multi-use pathways on either side, for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

The tunnel replacement is expected to create 9,000 jobs, and involve 80,000 metric tons of concrete, and 40,000 trucks of concrete.

If all goes according to schedule, the new bridge will open in 2022.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; concrete; Design build; Environmental Protection; Government; Infrastructure; North America; Program/Project Management; Steel

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