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This a conceptual rendering of what the George Massey tunnel replacement bridge over the Fraser River on Highway 99 might look like.

The British Columbia government has granted an environmental assessment certificate for the 10-lane, $3.5-billion bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel over the Fraser River.

The approval comes with 33 conditions that are legally binding requirements that the Transportation Ministry must meet.

The government says the key findings that helped the approval included that no significant adverse effects were likely to occur on fish and fish habitat and that the project would eliminate congestion delays and idling on the route between Richmond and Delta.

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The construction will also mean replacing the interchanges of Westminster Highway, Steveston Highway and Highway 17A.

The project will require various federal, provincial and local government permits to go ahead and the Environmental Assessment Office will work with other government agencies to ensure conditions are met.

Construction of the new bridge is expected to start this year with completion by 2022.

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