The Government of B.C. has hired professional engineer Stan Cowdell to lead the independent technical review of the George Massey Tunnel crossing.
The purpose of this technical review is to find a solution to safety and congestion issues faced by commuters, commercial drivers and first responders at the tunnel.
Cowdell is president of Westmar Project Advisors Inc., and has years of experience as an engineering consultant for public infrastructure projects. Cowdell’s firm is leading the review, with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure also recruiting additional expertise as needed to support his work in the fields of geotechnical, tunnel, bridge and road construction, traffic engineering, and transportation planning.
The first task of the review will be to independently undertake a technical review of the lifespan, safety, and seismic vulnerability and current congestion of the existing tunnel. As well, Cowdell will review the technical assumptions and analysis for the tunnel and bridge options. As part of this, he will review the technical information already produced for the project and challenge or verify the assumptions made out of that work. This assessment may identify the need for further technical work.
As the independent technical review proceeds, the province will continue to engage with the Metro Vancouver mayors to ensure that any plan for this corridor reflects their ideas and fits into the overall vision for the region.
The review will help the B.C. government choose a solution to the safety and congestion issues at the tunnel that is best for the region and the province, reflects the views and vision of Metro Vancouver, and gets the best value for public money. A report on the independent technical review is expected in spring 2018.
Based on the analysis, the province will determine next steps to address safety and congestion along the Highway 99 corridor.
The terms of reference for the independent technical review of the George Massey Tunnel crossing are available online: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/52/2017/11/TOR-Independent-review.pdf