The pressure to allow bigger ocean going vessels onto the Lower Fraser River has been growing for years, and container truck traffic to and from Deltaport will only increase in the future if Roberts Bank Terminal Two is built. Right now the Massey Tunnel keeps deeper draft (and heavily loaded) vessels off the river and limits how many trucks can travel to and from the Port through our communities.
The BC government says that the the bridge is being built to benefit commuters, but the Port and industrial users of the Fraser River are clearly going to benefit if this project goes ahead. They should have to pay for a big portion of the cost of this bridge. Here are some ideas on how that could happen:
- If cars have to pay a toll to go over the bridge, deep draft ocean going vessels should have to pay a significant toll each time they go under it. After all, they will benefiting greatly from the deeper draft in the river once the tunnel is removed.
- Every container that passes over the bridge going to or from DeltaPort should be charged a transportation improvement fee. Vancouver International Airport collects improvement fees for new infrastructure, and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has done the same for Gateway Infrastructure. The Port should collect a fee for container traffic use of the new bridge and hand it over to the province.
- Every tonne of coal, LNG or jet fuel that passes under the new bridge should be charged a similar transportation improvement fee — collected by the Port, and handed over to the province.