The province is allocating $7.6 billion over three years towards transportation and infrastructure, but Finance Minister Selina Robinson confirmed Tuesday (April 20) that the province would not commit to a dollar figure for the George Massey Tunnel replacement this budget.
The money is part of an overall $26.4 billion total capital investment that included infrastructure, schools and housing, among others. The transportation funding is split up into $6 billion of direct provincial money and $1.6 billion leveraged through federal and private partnerships. It will help pay for highway rehabilitation and upgrades, the George Massey Tunnel replacement and completing the planning for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain project.
However, while the George Massey Tunnel replacement was brought up multiple times in budget documents, there was no cost attached to the project.
“There’s resources there for that project,” Robinson said. “It’s a very important project for this government, with just going through its due diligence, so that we understand exactly what it’s going to cost.”
The province received the business case for the Massey Tunnel project in December, more than three years after preliminary construction work was halted by the NDP government. The options on the table are and eight-lane immersed tube tunnel and an eight-lane bridge. Both options come with preliminary price tags which were not updated in the budget: $4 to $5 billion for the tunnel and $3.5 to $4.5 billion for the bridge.
Of the $6 billion in direct provincial spending over the next three years, $823 million is earmarked for the Pattullo Bridge replacement, $1.08 billion for the Broadway Skytrain extension and $1.1 billion for the a section dubbed “Transportation and Trade Network Reliability.”
The $26.4 billion in capital spending that the NDP promise will create 85,000 jobs over the next three years is $3.5 billion more than was promised last year in the government’s pre-pandemic budget.
Other infrastructure and transportation spending includes $130 million for zero emission vehicle incentive, charging stations and continued work on the electrification of school buses, ferries and government fleet.
For more on the 2021 B.C. budget, click here.