Jun 4, 2019 - 6 months ago
By Supply Post
Sixty years ago, on May 23, 1959, the Massey Tunnel opened to traffic. Thousands of commuters celebrated Massey’s 60th birthday by waiting up to 60 extra minutes in its traffic.
To mark the Massey’s birthday and call on the NDP Government to expedite a replacement crossing, Delta South MLA Ian Paton and Richmond-Queensborough MLA Jas Johal joined Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) president Chris Gardner at an impromptu 60th birthday party near the tunnel.
The Deas Island Tunnel between Richmond and Ladner was officially opened in 1959 by Queen Elizabeth II. (It was later renamed the George Massey Tunnel after its main proponent.) Long considered impossible to build, the tunnel ended up being built on time and with one of the best safety records in BC.
Gardner, Paton and Johal have all been very vocal about the need for a replacement for the Massey due to safety and congestion issues. A planned new bridge was stopped by the NDP Government in 2017, delaying any possible replacement for years.
“The party has long been over for the thousands of drivers who use the Massey every day, and who know just how small, out-of-date and unsafe the tunnel has become,” said Gardner. “A new crossing was well under way until the NDP government came to power in 2017 and killed it for no good reason. They’re still dragging their heels on a replacement years later, and drivers are still asking for a new crossing.”
“This event is anything but celebratory. Local commuters and visiting travellers are sick and tired of sitting in B.C.’s worst bottleneck. They want action today— not a decade from now,” said Paton. “John Horgan and the NDP continue to stall this important replacement project while motorists and our economy suffer. It’s completely unacceptable.”
“At 60 years old, this tunnel is aging and seismically unsafe. It needs to be replaced with a safer and more efficient alternative,” said Johal. “John Horgan and the NDP have consensus from local mayors on how to proceed, yet they continue to sit on their hands. They are failing to provide relief to drivers and business owners.”
ICBA has launched a website, BuildMassey.ca, where drivers can send an email to Horgan asking that a new Massey crossing be expedited