A $300 million project to bring a Canadian-owned tunnel to the US from London to San Francisco is the latest in a string of high-profile projects to connect Canadian communities with the global economy.
But as Canada’s government gears up for the Olympics, will it face the same cost overruns and delays faced by some of the world’s biggest projects?article chescoe tn tunnel $300M, US $10 billion, tunnel completed in 2022, first phase complete in 2024Chesapeake Bay Tunnel (BCT), one of the country’s longest tunnels, is a $300-million project to connect the Canadian city of Chesapeake with the US capital, Washington, and the world.
The project, which opened in 2022 and was completed in 2024, is being financed by the Canadian government, which hopes to generate $10-billion in economic benefits for Chesapeake Bay and to boost tourism and manufacturing.
The first phase of the $3.2-billion project, also named the Gateway of the Americas, will link Chesapeake to the Port of Los Angeles, as well as connect to a rail line that will connect New York to Washington.
A second phase is scheduled to open in 2023 and cost $1.5 billion.
The BCT is expected to bring up to 3 million vehicles a day to the port and provide 2,500 jobs.
The US Environmental Protection Agency says the project will be able to offset environmental impacts from traffic congestion, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution.
But environmental concerns are likely to continue, and in 2018, a court ordered the construction of a new $1 billion tunnel under Lake Erie, which was approved by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
In 2019, the US Congress passed a law allowing the Canadian province of Ontario to build the $300 billion project, but the $1-billion funding was not guaranteed until 2021, when construction began.
In 2019, US Senator Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington state, introduced legislation that would allow the BCT to begin construction at a lower cost.
But while the US is a key hub for Canada’s economy, the BCW has faced similar hurdles to the BCMTS.
The BCT was built as part of the massive TransCanada pipeline that connects Alberta to the Gulf Coast of the US, but it was delayed in 2021 when pipeline workers became ill.
The pipeline was restarted in 2018 and completed in 2020, but construction has been plagued by safety issues and environmental concerns.
The Canadian government is now in negotiations with TransCanada, which is the company building the Keystone XL Pipeline, to complete construction on the project by 2025.