Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bridge to Vancouver Island?

People do a lot of thinking as they wait, and that's what I am doing as I wait in the ferry lineup to Victoria, BC. After my recent trip to Prince Edward Island with the Chef Dez Culinary Tour, I got to thinking about our own little Vancouver Island.

Even though PEI is our smallest Canadian Province, our Vancouver Island (off the south coast of British Columbia) is twice the land size of PEI and has approximately 5 times more people. So if PEI can have a bridge connecting them to land (New Brunswick), why can't we have one here connecting Vancouver Island to the Mainland?

The Confederation Bridge that connects PEI to New Brunswick is nearly 13km long and has been in operation since 1997. The cost to cross the bridge is less than $50 and that is charged when leaving the island (there is no fee on the return trip). The other option to leave the PEI is by ferry (much like we have here in BC), but the cost for that service is approximately $70 - which is also just to leave the island with no fee for the ferry return.

The ferry ride here in BC to Vancouver Island costs over $70 for standard vehicle with driver and additional fees for passengers, plus the same charge for the return trip. So, this being said, it would seem that if we had a similar bridge here in BC, it would also be more economical than the ferry system.

However, the geographical comparison is where the problem exists. Prince Edward Island’s $1-billion (1997 dollars) Confederation Bridge is only 12.9 km long and is set in water 35 m deep with a rock bottom. In comparison, a fixed bridge across British Columbia’s Georgia Strait would be 26 km in length, in water up to 365 m deep and in a zone with deep soft sediment ocean floor and a much higher seismic risk. Not to mention that the wind gusts here would pose a huge risk on such an immense structure.

This being said, the province of BC has no immediate or definite plans of pursuing a bridge crossing to Vancouver Island.

Well, there goes those thoughts. Time now to think about what to have for dinner tonight.

Until next time... Happy Cooking!

No comments: