New 8-lane tunnel to relieve traffic bottlenecks


COWI has been awarded a CA$15 million Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure contract as the Owner's Engineer of an eight-lane immersed tunnel across British Columbia’s (BC) Fraser River, to relieve severe traffic bottlenecks and boost regional trade and transit by 2030.

The new tunnel will have three general purpose traffic lanes and one dedicated bus lane in each direction, as well as a bi-directional multi-use cycle path/pedestrian walkway to improve travel across the river without restricting navigable space for marine traffic. We will provide the reference concepts and geotechnical underpinning for the ambitious CD$4.15 billion river crossing which will offer toll-free transit, cycling and walking connections in the Metro Vancouver area. Drawing on our experience designing the original George Massey tunnel in 1959, we will conceptualize and oversee end-to-end demolition of the original four-lane tunnel and construction of its replacement.

Darryl Matson, Senior Project Director for the project at COWI in North Vancouver said: “It’s projects like these that light up the engineer inside each of us. We are very passionate about this project as it lies in the backyard of our local team – we use it frequently so we know what a difference we can make to the community. It’s a key transportation link with major engineering challenges such as minimising disruption to local ecosystems during construction and ensuring the final tunnel will stand up to natural disasters. It will both test and showcase our talented engineers. The tunnel will break new ground with a dedicated pathway for accommodating cyclists and pedestrians and a dedicated bus lane alongside road traffic, helping create cleaner transport and bringing huge trade and travel benefits to the local community.”

As the new tunnel is under Canada’s Fraser River which is the longest river in BC, the Owner's Team will rely heavily on environmental specialists to help minimise the ecological impact on this critically important fish habitat.

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Lorna Wharton LOWH

Lorna Wharton Chart.PR MCIPR
Leading Specialist
Press and Public Affairs, United Kingdom and North America