An eight-lane, toll-free immersed-tube tunnel will replace the four-lane George Massey Tunnel on Highway 99.
The new tunnel will have three lanes for general use in each direction, as well as dedicated rapid transit lanes and separated walking and cycling paths. This expansion will provide more capacity for drivers and transit users in both directions, while providing walking and cycling options through the George Massey Crossing for the first time.
Work is underway on the Highway 99 corridor to improve transit and make cycling more convenient in advance of the new crossing. This year, work will also begin on a new Steveston Interchange that addresses congestion and makes travelling in this corridor more reliable.
For more information on the:
- Highway 99 corridor, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021TRAN0129-001685
- Steveston Interchange, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021TRAN0092-001205
Benefits for drivers in rush-hour peak directions:
- Congestion in the peak direction is caused in part by an inefficient counterflow system. The third lane is underused by as much as 20%.
- The eight new lanes will be wider than the current four lanes and will increase capacity in advance of and through the tunnel.
- The new Steveston Interchange will also improve access to and from Highway 99 and will ease east-west traffic along Steveston Highway.
- Dedicated, efficient transit lanes also create more general-purpose capacity.
- The result will be improved speed, safety and reliability for commuters during rush hour.
Benefits for drivers in rush-hour off-peak directions:
- There is only one lane of travel in the off-peak direction when the counterflow system is engaged.
- The new tunnel will triple the current capacity of traffic going against rush hour, with three general-purpose lanes in each direction at all times, plus one lane in each direction dedicated to public transit.
- Drivers and transit users will save significant travel time in these directions.
Benefits for people who take transit:
- Current congestion prevents reliable transit service through the tunnel.
- The new tunnel will have one lane in each direction dedicated to public transit, allowing free-flowing rapid bus transportation across the river at all times, including during peak periods.
- Bus capacity will nearly triple. With a dedicated transit lane, the tunnel will have the capacity for 80 buses per hour. Currently, 30 buses per hour travel through the tunnel during peak hours.
- People will save up to 30 minutes taking a bus from King George Highway in Surrey to Bridgeport Station in Richmond (up to 55 minutes currently, reduced to 25 minutes).
Benefits for people who walk or cycle:
- There is currently no way for people to walk, cycle or use other forms of active transportation through the existing tunnel.
- The new tunnel will allow for walking or cycling in a separate tube, which will connect TransLink’s Major Bike Network that services urban centres.
- This allows people to have a safe, reliable option for active transportation.
The new tunnel is one of many significant transportation investments in the Lower Mainland that is improving mobility throughout the region, particularly south of the Fraser River.
- Construction of a toll-free replacement for the Pattullo Bridge is underway and will be in service in 2024.
- Work on the Highway 91/17 Upgrade Project will make travel more efficient on those highways, as well as improving access to the Alex Fraser Bridge.
- Expanded SkyTrain service will be built between Surrey and Langley City and in service by 2028.