Transportation Minister Todd Stone insists he is not exaggerating.
He says there is “general support” for the provinces’ proposal for a three and a half billion dollar replacement bridge for the George Massey Tunnel.
In the numbers
The province has released the results of the third phase of consultation, showing general support for the project, but a look at the numbers paints a bit of a different story.
The results are in a “independent report of findings” prepared by Lucent Quay Consulting.
Of the 1,028 people who answered a question about the project scope, just 5% said they had no concerns and 24% said they were generally supportive.
Another 31% indicated conditonal support, while 10% were opposed.
30% provided no comment.
Questions about adding lanes of travel and HOV lanes gained more support, but those can happen with a different project.
The biggest concern remains tolling the bridge, with 37% wanting a lower rate and 22% opposed altogether.
Support is there
“I have consistently heard from three rounds of consultation, hundreds upon hundreds of meetings, stakeholder meetings, written submissions.”
Stone says he knows there is concern about tolling, but notes there is time to have a regional discussion about that topic.
“It’s a project that will take another five years, five-and-a half years to actually build and open. That takes us to 2022. And the Mayors Council, if they decide to proceed with the Pattullo project which is in their plan, will not be open any sooner than 2021, 2022.”
As for most other concerns, he says many are based on myth spread by those opposed to the plan from the get-go.
Not everyone is happy with the Minister’s responses to questions about the Massey tunnel replacement project.
Richmond City Councillor Carol Day was angry after this afternoon’s Richmond Chamber of Commerce event where Todd Stone spoke.
Day says the Chamber lobbed soft-balls at Stone, and the result was disappointing.
“People came here, paid a lot of money to have lunch and they didn’t get their questions answered. There are people standing outside on the street with signs who also didn’t get their questions answered.”
Among other things, Stone dismissed concerns the mega-project will move the bottleneck to Oak Street — saying most of the traffic starts in White Rock and ends in Richmond.