May 14, 2020 By B.C. Government News
Work is underway to improve brightness and visibility in the George Massey Tunnel in British Columbia.
“We continue to move ahead with our work to replace the George Massey Tunnel, but in the meantime, we are making immediate safety improvements inside the tunnel for drivers who use this route every day,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Plans for the new, future crossing are underway with a business case expected to be ready for the fall.”
The existing lights on the tunnel walls and ceiling will be converted to an LED standard to increase visibility and better illuminate the tunnel for drivers, save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Other work includes improving tunnel drainage to prevent ice build-up and water from pooling at tunnel entrances. The ventilation and electrical systems will also be upgraded. These additional safety improvements are already underway and are scheduled to be completed by spring 2021.
Black & McDonald Limited of Vancouver has been awarded a contract valued at $19 million for this work, which is part of a $40-million suite of interim safety and reliability improvements.
To minimize delays for drivers, the majority of work will be done at night. Drivers and cyclists are advised to watch for night-time lane closures and obey all traffic-control personnel, construction speed limits and signs. The ministry will let the public know in advance when lane closures are scheduled so they can plan their trip accordingly. People should continue to check DriveBC.ca and @DriveBC on Twitter for the most up-to-date highway travel information.
The ministry is working closely with all contractors and WorkSafeBC to ensure health and safety are maintained for all workers on site.
B.C.’s provincial health officer (PHO) has directed construction employers to take all necessary precautions to minimize the risks of COVID-19 transmission and illness to themselves and their employees. This includes ensuring workers maintain physical distance with a minimum of two metres apart from each other, both in the course of their duties as well as during breaks. Anyone exhibiting COVID-19 like symptoms will be directed to self-isolate at home for at least 10 days.
While highways and roads remain open, the PHO recommends people stay close to home and avoid any non-essential travel.
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