I read through the recently released Terms of Reference for the bridge feasibility study and there it is in black and white, what the government is really up to: “Based on the forecast, the consultant
should confirm whether a 2 or 4 lane crossing would be required to meet demand in the peak period.”
Four lanes? Gabriola is never going to need four lanes, unless.… we become a conduit for traffic from the mainland to Vancouver Island. (Todd Stone did just last month float the idea of closing Departure Bay.) A major terminal on Gabriola and then bridging to the “Big Island” via Mudge would be one option. Or possibly a terminal on Valdes and then over to Gabe, Mudge, and VI. Shorten that ferry trip from the mainland at any cost! They’ve looked at it before (Google: A Potential Fixed Link to Vancouver Island).
The effect would be significant portions of these precious islands turned into piers, a huge parking lot, and highways. Many, many cars, semis, and coaches both idling and passing through. Could it be that that is what the feasibility study is really looking at? To those who dismiss the possibility with “It’ll never happen” I have to say, I just don’t have that much faith in the government.
I don’t want a bridge of any kind. I like the ferry line and the crossing; the chance to sit back with a cup of coffee and a book, to bump into friends, to watch the water go by and sometimes whales or sea lions. It concerns me that many people are still thinking a bridge would simply mean not having to wait in the ferry line. Be careful what you ask for when you say you want a bridge. It may not be the kind of bridge you had in mind.