As a background, I regularly read Google news concerning the GMT and it seems to result in alot of letters to the editor, the City of Delta has commissioned its own engineering study to seek its replacement, Richmond council (of all political stripes) want its replacement, etc.
Rapid Bus/Park & Ride do provide good service to the Canada Line from SoF. I doubt that an extension of same South of the Fraser is feasible in any event.
Heading into downtown Vancouver on many mornings, Hwy 99 is backed up to the King George Highway interchange in South Surrey and can result in a slow crawl.
Throw in huge population increases expected in the South Surrey area (another 300,000? by some estimates IIRC), Deltaport expansion, the massive FN development in Tsawwassen, future BC Ferries growth (ferry traffic dumps), etc. and capacity matters come into play.
Remember that the 6 lane Alex Fraser Bridge was constructed as a 2nd crossing to alleviate GMT congestion in 1986 (26 years ago) and capacity there was realized quicker than anyone expected.
That aside, when I read in the Journal of Commerce over a year ago that future seismic upgrades of the GMT were put on hold ($10's of millions) due to a "value engineering study" I knew right there that the tunnel would be phased out.
Today we have confirmation of that with the message of a "replacement" for the GMT. The old GMT might be useful for a future lrt line (with seismic upgrades) but that's another discussion altogether.
Today was the first time the the BC guvmint mentioned both "replacement" of the GMT as well as a focus on said replacement. They have been quiet about that until now.
Based upon the upcoming election, of course it's political. Nevertheless, Delta South is Ind. Huntington's riding, Richmond ridings are centre-right and so are the White Rock and South Surrey ridings.
In any event, the next election is 2013, then 2017, then 2021, then 2025. I don't see an actual replacement financial commitment to be announced until 3 or 4 elections out.
And when one does come, I have no doubt that it will be a 2+3+3+2 bridge structure inclusive of HOV lanes in the express lanes.
The c/d lanes would likely commence in the south at the SFPR (future Hwy 17) and likely terminate at the junction of the Westminster Hwy with a potential for a direct link to the Knight Fwy. My thoughts at least.
As for the Steveston Hwy interchange, it's future locale would likely be further north and then looped around to meet Steveston Hwy. No big deal.
Back in 2006, BC MoT commissioned a study dubbed the "H99 Project" albeit the findings therein are likely dated. Just for reference.
BTW, a GMT replacement would also require "systems wide" upgrades inclusive of an Oak Street Bridge replacement.