Bridge between Vancouver Island and BC mainland

Hamster ate the post.

If you were asking if there is one, there ain’t.

I’m no engineer, but it doesn’t sound like a feasible project to me, either.

(It’s a lot further away than it looks on the map.) :smiley:

Stupid hamsters. Here’s the question:

Why is there no bridge between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland?

I recently had this thought, and was surprised I hadn’t considered it before. I asked my friend from BC, and he had never given it any consideration either. I guess Vancouverites don’t think much of the islanders. :slight_smile:

My trusty internet distance calculator tells me that the distance between Vancouver and Nanaimo is only 23km. The longest bridge in the world seems to currently be the Qatar-Bahrain Causeway, which 45km, and there are several more around the world in the same ballpark. BC doesn’t exactly have the oil riches, but there’s a fairly substantial population there, considerably more than in PEI, which got it’s own bridge (12.9km). Also, there are probably much shorter routes the bridge could take than Vancouver-Nanaimo.

So, what’s the deal? Are they worried about orcas and such, or do British Columbians just really dig ferries?

BC Govt page on the subject: A Potential Fixed Link to Vancouver Island

My summation: it’s too deep. More directly: “There are no fixed bridges in existence today that would meet the conditions present in Georgia Strait.”

Yes, we British Columbians dig our ferries but there are drawbacks: cancelled
sailings due to bad weather, the threat of reduced service due to labour action, multi-sailing waits in peak times etc. When people grumble about
these problems the fixed-link idea is kicked around yet again. It’ll never happen anytime soon for the reasons outlined in the page SmackFu linked to.
Many people think the main reason the bridge will never fly (huh?) is the fear Gulf Island and Vancouver Island residents have that their idyllic habitat will become yet another suburb of sprawling Vancouver. Not to mention the
environmental issues and the fear of massive cost overruns (see: BC Catamaran “Fast Ferries” and BC’s Coquihalla Highway )

Certainly a topical post, BaldTaco– you must be tuned right into the noosphere.

From today’s news:

No shortage of “BUILD A BRIDGE FOR PETES SAKES!!!” and “A BRIDGE IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!!” in the comments. (The regrettable combination of Vancouver Province readers and a forum encouragingly-named Sound Off!! makes for a rather distasteful level of discourse for folks that are used to the SDMB…)

They’ve talked about building bridges since the days of promising that the Transcontinental Railroad would terminate in downtown Victoria. Another Ottawa promise that vapourised…

Seriously, many of us here don’t want a bridge. We like the fact that this is an island. Many chose to move here just because of the fact that this is an island. We don’t want to become just another suburb of the obscenely borglike organism that Greater Vancouver has become.

A bridge would also be a huge engineering challenge: this is the highest earthquake risk zone in Canada (and one of the highest in North America) for a start; the body of water that we’re talking about here (for any “southern route,” at least) is one of the busiest commercial maritime routes in the world, so a floating bridge is out; and finally, the Gulf Islands are not only the most expensive real estate in Canada, but are also highly ecologically sensitive (the Gulf of Georgia Lowlands is actually more endangered than the Brazilian rain forest), and in fact a new National Park has been established protecting many of the Gulf Islands, so no bridge-footings allowed in those areas!

Complaining about the BC Ferry fares is a long-standing sport here in the province, but I note it is generally those who don’t get out of the country much who are doing the whining. So it costs $45 for a car & driver one way Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay; in 1990 I took a car from Kintyre, Scotland to Larne, Northern Ireland (a 2.5 hour trip, if memory recalls), which cost well over GPB 80.00–one way! We here in BC (and North America) are quite spoiled with cheap gas, ferry rates, etc. Besides, the Tswassen route is frankly one of the most beautiful short ferry rides in the entire world; sit back and enjoy it–3 million tourists a year pay big money and come from all over the world to see this.

I forgot to add: [Edward] “What’s all this shouting? This is a local shop, for local people! There’s nothing for you here!” [/Edward]

Map of the now-established Gulf Islands National Park Reserve:

I’ve lived in Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver and even though I find the ferry an hour-and-a-half of torture, I’d speak out against a bridge.

I care not about the feasiblility of the project, I just don’t want to see the island become yet another suburb of Vancouver.

Yes, I’m one of those people who will bitch about the fares, the lineups and the sailing hours but deep down I know it’s just part of the price to pay to live in such a gorgeous place.

Great. Now I’m homesick. Time to head to Tswassen!

Just curious - any info on how Prince Edward Islanders feel about no longer living on a real island? What side-effects has the Confederation Bridge had?

Out of curiosity, would a bridge be feasible up around, say, Campbell River, where the strait is only about 2 km wide? And could Hwy. 101 (which runs up the mainland coast to about 20 km east of Campbell River) be extended up the coast to connect with it? I’m sure this idea has been floated, but what’s the catch?

The catch is that unless you’re going from Vancouver to Strathcona, you end up going so far out of your way that it would take waaaay longer than the ferry (e.g. Vancouver to Victoria). You’re not getting a lot of traffic to the north half of the island.

Uh, you’re REALLY going to have to cite (and be more specific) here, unless you can get an acre in Shaughnessy for less than $5M :stuck_out_tongue:

Personally, I would fight tooth and nail against such a bridge for many reasons, most of which were mentioned by others. I love riding BC Ferries! If you’re frustrated by constant waits, well, that’s the price of being a weekend warrior.

Technologically, the project is certainly feasable. The problems are:

  1. This would be most easily constructed where the water gap is narrow, such as near Campbell River, which does not correspond with the high traffic destinations.

  2. Residents of Victoria and other locations on this island would probably object to a bridge since that would bring higher population density, growth, industry and traffic, and ruin their quite little communities.

  3. BC Ferries uses proceeds from the high volume runs (Horseshoe Bay - Departure Bay, Tsawassen - Swartz Bay) to subsidize the other mid-island routes, which operate at a loss. These services are the only link to communities on the islands.

Well, okay; amongst the most expensive real estate in Canada–when you have a two-bedroom house (on a .22 acre lot) in Vesuvius Bay going at $717K, we’re talking comparable land values to Shaughnessey. And no-one can build in front of you.

Sunnuva bitch! A good freind of mine just bought a beachfront home on Saltspring!

I think I’m gonna ask him for a loan! :wink:

Holy hell! That’s some expensive property! I wonder how much pulp mill they have in their view!

I spoke to him last night. I stand corrected… it was Mayne island.

Well, I was close.