A major lighting upgrade is underway in the ageing George Massey Tunnel within the greater Vancouver area in western Canada.
Being replaced are 400W high pressure sodium units that were custom-made for the tunnel and installed in 2005. The aging power system limits lighting output of the old fixtures, according to the British Columbia provincial government. The current project includes upgrading the power system.
The LED replacements are Lumec TunnelView, made by Signfy, based in the Netherlands. The lights come in small, medium and large sizes and all can be mounted on a wall or a ceiling. There are nine mounting options suitable for tunnels and underpasses, according to the company. There is a slip fitter mount and a swivel mount. The fixed-bracket option allows for positioning of -15°, -10°, -5°, 0°, 5°, 10° and 15°.
The contract valued at nearly US$15 million, is part of $40 million worth of interim safety and reliability improvements ahead of a likely replacement for the tunnel.
“We continue to move ahead with our work to replace the George Massey Tunnel, but in the meantime, we are making immediate safety improvements,” said Claire Trevena, minister of transportation and infrastructure for the province of British Columbia. “Plans for the new future crossing are underway with a business case expected to be ready for the fall.”
Other work now ongoing 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. The majority of work will be done at night and all improvements are scheduled to be completed by spring 2021.
The aging 61-year-old tunnel, part of the busy Highway 99 along the Pacific coast and runs under the Fraser River. It is also Canada’s only tunnel below sea level. The tunnel now carries more than its design limit of 80,000 vehicles a day. Extensive renovations to the tunnel and attempts to improve access roads have been done over the years, but the structure has only about 10 years of useful life, according to some reports.
An earlier replacement proposal – a 3km-long 10-lane cable stay bridge costing US$2.8 billion - was underway in 2015 with the government saying that construction was on target to start in 2017 with completion in 2022. But a new provincial government was elected in 2017 before work started and the project was scrapped.