Bridge and hospital tower up in the air politically

Posted June 27, 2017 by webadmin

Richmond News

Whether Richmond gets a new hospital tower fast tracked, and whether a new crossing to replace, or complement, the George Massey Tunnel receives a green light in a timely manner, both remain a mystery to members of city council.

This, after a stunning about face on numerous policies by the B.C. Liberal Party in last week’s throne speech and the BC NDP poised to take power with a minority government supported by the B.C. Green Party.

Richmond-Steveston MLA John Yap told the Richmond News he is still in favour of building a bridge to replace the tunnel but is willing to consider concerns deeply rooted in the community and at city hall. …

Mayor Malcolm Brodie has stated that the proposed 10-lane bridge will not fit with the regional plan to reduce car traffic and bolster rapid transit use. But the crossing still needs to be fixed, he noted.

“Ideally [the NDP] would support the idea of a twinned tunnel,” said Brodie.

Brodie said a new tunnel that includes a rail line to Surrey is feasible under the same budget as the bridge (presently pegged at $3.5 billion).

“Ideally you’d have a rail line in conjunction” with the crossing, said Brodie.

Brodie noted the NDP has not made specific promises on what to do with the crossing.

“But they have indicated a willingness that there are significant defects with the project and they’re prepared to take a longer look with the project,” said Brodie. …

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