A bridge too far: Link to Sun­shine Coast axed

Vancouver Sun - - CITY -

Build­ing a bridge or road link to Bri­tish Columbia’s Sun­shine Coast has too many tech­ni­cal and fi­nan­cial hur­dles, so the provin­cial gov­ern­ment says it’s giv­ing up on the idea. The former Lib­eral gov­ern­ment launched a fea­si­bil­ity study on the idea of a fixed link in Novem­ber 2015. The NDP gov­ern­ment has re­leased a re­port with the an­nounce­ment that it wouldn’t be pro­ceed­ing with the plan. The study nar­rowed its in­ves­ti­ga­tion to two bridge links and two road cross­ings, each cost­ing an es­ti­mated $2.1 bil­lion to $4.4 bil­lion. The re­port says all of the op­tions pre­sented se­ri­ous chal­lenges, in­clud­ing rocky in­clines, moun­tain passes and deep­wa­ter chan­nels. The gov­ern­ment also says in a news re­lease that none of the links would com­pletely elim­i­nate the need for a ferry cross­ing, which cur­rently ser­vices com­mu­ni­ties on the Sun­shine Coast. All four of the sce­nar­ios would have high provin­cial cap­i­tal and op­er­at­ing costs, the re­port says. “User ben­e­fits are lim­ited be­cause of mod­est fore­cast traf­fic vol­umes, as well as the ad­di­tional travel dis­tances as­so­ci­ated with three of the sce­nar­ios,” the re­port is­sued Thurs­day says.

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