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

West Shore residents hold forum to voice frustration with Goldstream Park homeless camp

Some 200 residents fill local pub pointing fingers, claiming crime on the rise, safety at risk

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

City stamps rezoning approval for Merridale Cidery expansion in Victoria

Owner expects doors open by fall 2019 in Dockside Green neighbourhood

Two to hospital after University of Victoria sailing mishap

Wind gusts capsize boat of recreational club sailors

Greater Victoria favourite Pendray Corn Maze opens today

Pendray Farms Corn Maze raises food and funds Sept. 29

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Victoria resident barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Family, friends of B.C murder victim want killer sent back to max security facility

Group wants convicted murderer Walter Ramsay sent back to a maximum security facility

Most Read