Falcon’s plan to cancel Massey Tunnel would hurt Richmond, delay a solution for years: NDP

BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon’s plan to cancel the Massey Tunnel project would keep commuters stuck in traffic for three extra years and make our community a worse place to live, say Richmond’s NDP MLAs.

“In addition to delaying a solution by years, Kevin Falcon is rejecting the consensus reached by community leaders that the tunnel is right for Richmond,” said Henry Yao, NDP MLA for Richmond South Centre, on Thursday. “The tunnel is the right fit because it fixes the gridlock while avoiding the negative impacts that would be created by the BC Liberal bridge.”

The NDP says that Falcon’s plan to go back to the 10-lane toll bridge would require a new environmental assessment and take nine years to complete. Starting that process in 2024 would delay completion of the crossing until 2033, three years later than the tunnel is set to open. It would also mean writing off millions of dollars that has already been committed to work on the tunnel.

“The BC Liberal toll bridge would turn Richmond into a parking lot because it has no plan to direct traffic,” said Aman Singh, NDP MLA for Richmond-Queensborough. “We’re managing traffic by building the Steveston Interchange. And unlike the BC Liberals, we’re addressing the bottleneck without unfair tolls.”

Falcon’s promise to cancel the project was criticized by Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, who told Global News: “I just don’t think it’s an idea that should go forward. To go back in time, back to the future to a 10-lane bridge which, really, very few want.”

“If Kevin Falcon consulted anyone at all, he would know that people in our community want the tunnel,” said Kelly Greene, NDP MLA for Richmond-Steveston. “His delayed bridge project would be terrible for people in Richmond.”