The Skarnsund Bridge in Norway, a cable-stayed bridge, is the look of structure proposed by the group. (Alasdair McLellan photo)

Smart technology bridge proposed to cross Saanich Inlet

Meant to offer alternative to crossing Malahat

A proposal to build a smart-technology bridge across the Saanich Inlet is in its early phases.

Duncan’s Mary Dougherty, a geographic information system analyst and her father, Victoria’s Stephen Pattison, a geographer, are among the advocates of building a one-kilometre long cable-stayed bridge across the Finlayson Arm section of the inlet.

The main intention of the bridge project would be to provide an alternative to using the unpredictable Malahat route, the main connector between the Victoria region and the rest of Vancouver Island, that is frequently shut down due to accidents and other issues.

Proponents are also advocating for the construction of 11 kilometres of new roadway, in addition to the bridge, that would connect existing roadways to the bridge and allow the Malahat route to be bypassed.

Travel distances would be reduced by as much as 32 kilometres.

The proposed bridge would be built 300 feet above the waters of the inlet and would support a four-lane traffic deck and a pedestrian lower deck.

RELATED STORY: SAANICH INLET BRIDGE TOO EXPENSIVE

Pattison and Dougherty envision that the bridge also be a power-generating station that would have long arrays of solar collectors and wind generators on the structure, while the bridge foundations at water level can be designed to harness tidal flow and tide-height energy as well.

According to the proposal, the collection of bridge tolls, the sale of the electricity and the realignment of freight rates, travel time, and fuel savings would all contribute to a major economic impact across the region.

Smart technology bridges have been built in other places in the world.

Dougherty said the proposal is currently in its early phases, and most of the work right now involves getting the idea for the bridge out there in the public and gathering community support.

“The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure have completed several studies on building a bridge over the inlet with no results, but we know there are a lot of people who would like to see it happen,” Dougherty said.

“We want to get people talking about it and hopefully get more organized this summer.”

According to the proposal, a committee will be needed to develop a presentation with models and maps, statistics and opinions, aerial photos and ground proofings to elaborate and explain the Saanich Connector project to the broader community, and seek input by various stakeholders and prepare a winning case to present to the regional, provincial and First Nation governments.

Dougherty said there is no idea, at this stage, as to how much the whole project would cost.

“There’s a lot of factors that would come into play to determine the costs,” she said.

“It would certainly be an interesting and special project if it goes ahead.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Third elephant seal moults on Gonzales Beach

Victoria City staff were out Monday morning shifting pylons to protect an… Continue reading

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

Suman, mom of Reena Virk, has died

Mother of 1997 murder victim became an activist against bullying

First Vancouver Island heat wave of the summer is here

Environment Canada issues a special weather statement as temperatures creep into the 30s

Does a creature lurk beneath Caddy Bay?

Researchers on hunt for Cadborosaurus, with sightings dating back centuries along the B.C. coast

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

CRD tightens leash on dog walkers

Five regional parks in Sooke now have new restrictions on dogs

North Island College gets $328,000 for forestry education funding

Announcement in Campbell River part of $1 million around B.C.

Body discovered in Port Alberni building

RCMP turn investigation over to BC Coroner’s office

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Most Read