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Overnight closures coming to George Massey Tunnel

The north end of the George Massey Tunnel is seen in a CTV News file image. The north end of the George Massey Tunnel is seen in a CTV News file image.

The Massey Tunnel will be fully closed to traffic for four nights starting Thursday so upgrades to the counterflow system can be completed, according to the province.

"The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure appreciates people's patience while this important system upgrade is made to ensure the continued safety of those commuting through the George Massey Tunnel," a statement sent out Tuesday says.

Northbound, the tunnel will be closed between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. on all four days. Southbound, closures will run from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Thursday and Friday and 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Emergency vehicles and transit buses will be able to use the tunnel during the closures. All other vehicles wil have to use the Alex Fraser Bridge as a detour.

"The upgraded electronic lane-control system will be back in operation in time for the morning commute on Monday," the ministry says.

Since last month, a manual counterflow system has been in place comprised of "traffic-control vehicles, traffic-control personnel and traffic devices, such as cones and barriers."

An average of 85,000 vehicles per day travel through the tunnel, according to the province.

The tunnel is a notorious bottleneck and the counterflow measures are meant to help traffic flow more easily during peak periods. A new, submerged eight-lane tunnel that will cost an estimated $4.15 billion is expected to be built by 2030. Top Stories

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