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Saanich Inlet Bridge


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#41 Mike K.

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 03:42 PM

When the province brought up the potential for Wain Road as the connector road there was utter chaos and outrage in that neighbourhood.

 

Unfortunately Wain Road is not an option for a crossing. 50 years ago maybe but there's just too much wealth centred around there now.


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#42 eseedhouse

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 06:32 PM

 

 

Unfortunately Wain Road is not an option for a crossing. 50 years ago maybe but there's just too much wealth centred around there now.

 

It's important not to ignore political realities.  One is as you say above.  A business case would be a prerequisite, but far from enough to get a bridge built.

 

There are other political considerations as well.  Such as the fact that governments able to come up with the kind of funding needed for this tend to be unfriendly to areas that consistently elect representatives from other than their own party.  Also we have first nations treaties and land claims to deal with.

 

You guys are talking about a bridge that is at the very minimum at least three kilometers from shore to shore.  Six times the length of the Lion's Gate crossing. 

 

As for a floating bridge, we are talking about the ocean here, and tidal flows.  How well would that do when one of our normal fall/winter storms blow in, do you think?  They have trouble keeping the bridges on the Lake near Seattle going in bad weather.  In fact in 1990 the I-90 floating bridge actually sank in a storm while being repaired.



#43 LJ

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 06:53 PM

I don't know, don't we deserve our own "confederation bridge"?


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#44 LJ

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 06:57 PM

I'm not sure why southbound traffic would increase on 17, wouldn't people only use the bridge from up island if they were going to go to the ferry or North Sannich and continue to use the "Hat" if they were going downtown?


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#45 eseedhouse

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 07:11 PM

I'm not sure why southbound traffic would increase on 17, wouldn't people only use the bridge from up island if they were going to go to the ferry or North Sannich and continue to use the "Hat" if they were going downtown?

 

I imagine a bridge mean a lot less maintenance for the old highway. After a few years it might be only the adventurous taking the old one.



#46 tedward

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 09:16 AM

The bridge could tie in quite nicely with infrastructure already available at the airport. Obviously the interchange at McTavish would need to be reworked and the roads widened between the highway and the cove, but this isn't a big deal. However, at this location (while great for larger vessels) the bridge would span over six kilometers. Yikes.

 

That orientation would make the span over the widest gap possible. I think the Wain Rd route makes a lot more sense.

 

As for a floating bridge, we are talking about the ocean here, and tidal flows. 

 

I guess you missed the links at the beginning of this thread. There are already floating bridges operating on tidal waters quite effectively.


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#47 jonny

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 09:26 AM

I've said it before, but Mt Newton X Road to Bamberton makes sense to me. It's only a 3km crossing there, Mt Newton X Road already exists and would be easy enough to expand, and Bamberton is already damn close to the highway. Bamberton is a tiny provincial park, and is hardly irreplaceable.



#48 tedward

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 09:29 AM

Interesting article on floating bridge in WA state from Popular Mechanics.


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#49 Mike K.

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 10:14 AM

@tedward, yeah that's the worst location for the span in terms of cost. Jonny's Mt. Newton-Bamberton crossing makes sense while not impacting large vessels.

Lots of people think that we'll need to build additional lanes on the 17. But quite honestly there are fewer vehicles traversing the Malahat than there are the 17. The Malahat is a trickle by comparison.

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#50 malabrat

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 10:46 AM

Not in favour of bridge. I believe MOT's report said most of the traffic headed over the Malahat is headed to the WestShore or downtown. A Pat Bay bridge would not help those destined to the west shore (Costco, etc) from Cowichan. It would help those from Cowichan headed to the airport and ferries but that is a drop in the bucket to where most traffic is headed. 

 

Then theirs politics. The residents in the path of the connector road on the Saanich pennisula will have a fit and fight this tooth and nail. You don't see anyone fighting Malahat widening - that's because there is few people living there and those that do (myself included) want to see the highway improved.



#51 jonny

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 11:03 AM

Not in favour of bridge. I believe MOT's report said most of the traffic headed over the Malahat is headed to the WestShore or downtown. A Pat Bay bridge would not help those destined to the west shore (Costco, etc) from Cowichan. It would help those from Cowichan headed to the airport and ferries but that is a drop in the bucket to where most traffic is headed. 

 

Then theirs politics. The residents in the path of the connector road on the Saanich pennisula will have a fit and fight this tooth and nail. You don't see anyone fighting Malahat widening - that's because there is few people living there and those that do (myself included) want to see the highway improved.

 

A bridge would help those coming into downtown from Mill Bay-North get there more efficiently.

 

The Malahat would stay open. Those heading to the Westshore would see an improvement as traffic levels on the Malahat would be reduced. Those heading from the Westshore into the core would see an improvement as those coming into town from up island would be taking an alternate route.

 

From my experience, most vehicles continue on into Victoria rather than exit at Millstream and I suspect most vehicles are headed into the core and not the Westshore. I would like to see more information though. If you could provide this MoT study you speak of, I'd greatly appreciate it.

 

Surely some landowners would be affected, and would have to be compensated fairly based upon industry practices as land would need to be acquired. Honestly, the volume of those affected would be quite miniscule. I believe the BC government has the right to expropriate, and should not be afraid to use it when it serves the public interest.


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#52 arfenarf

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 11:20 AM

Thinking cynically, this government can afford to annoy the residents of North Saanich.  For one thing, as a general matter, they seem to be happy to put the screws to the BC Liberal-unfriendly Island.  For another, the money in N Saanich isn't likely to abandon them for the NDP.

What if they toll the bridge?  Is it worth $5 to you to get up island without driving the 'hat?



#53 jklymak

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 11:36 AM

I'm not convinced the cost/benefit of this will ever make sense.  Sure they built long bridges across Lake Washington, but that was to connect Redmond and Bellevue to Seattle.  Hood Canal Bridge saves 200 miles of driving.  This saves a few people 40 miles on a trip.   Sure, if it were easy this should be done, but its not - it'll be expensive and of marginal benefit to a few people.   I bet you could build 10 cloverleafs on Trans Canada or H17 for what this would cost.  



#54 Mike K.

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 12:51 PM

Bypassing the Malahat would significantly shorten the drive to the urban core where the majority of Malahat traffic is heading, and the travel time to Langford via bridge/17 would also be shorter than the travel time between Mill Bay and Langford via Malahat. Run a quick Google maps check and you'll see the distance is shorter and travel time shorter.

 

The Colwood Crawl is the Colwood crawl from traffic from the urban core and vice versa, not between Mill Bay and Langford. Once you pass Langford on the #1 traffic thins out immensely. Meanwhile traffic heading to or from the Cowichan Valley is stuck with local commuters.

 

The more I think about this option the more sense it makes. Keep the windy Malahat for those traveling between the west shore and points north along the Malahat but reinforce the 17 and build a bridge. It makes a lot more sense than spending hundreds of millions building up a highway that would still be the only route in and out of the capital region. Having one route is not smart planning and will be an Achilles heel in the event of a major disaster.


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#55 Mike K.

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 01:14 PM

Thinking cynically, this government can afford to annoy the residents of North Saanich.  For one thing, as a general matter, they seem to be happy to put the screws to the BC Liberal-unfriendly Island.  For another, the money in N Saanich isn't likely to abandon them for the NDP.

What if they toll the bridge?  Is it worth $5 to you to get up island without driving the 'hat?

 

This is still a riding that is likely to vote for a Conservative at some point in the future. They kept Gary Lunn in office for years.

 

I'm not convinced the cost/benefit of this will ever make sense.  Sure they built long bridges across Lake Washington, but that was to connect Redmond and Bellevue to Seattle.  Hood Canal Bridge saves 200 miles of driving.  This saves a few people 40 miles on a trip.   Sure, if it were easy this should be done, but its not - it'll be expensive and of marginal benefit to a few people.   I bet you could build 10 cloverleafs on Trans Canada or H17 for what this would cost.  

 

But we need to do something with the Malahat and that something will be incredibly expensive one way or the other. With a Saanich Inlet crossing we can maintain the status quo with the 'hat and put some serious money and effort into a necessary second link to the south Island.


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#56 jonny

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 01:33 PM

The more I think about this option the more sense it makes. Keep the windy Malahat for those traveling between the west shore and points north along the Malahat but reinforce the 17 and build a bridge. It makes a lot more sense than spending hundreds of millions building up a highway that would still be the only route in and out of the capital region. Having one route is not smart planning and will be an Achilles heel in the event of a major disaster.

 

Yeah, I think it makes a lot of sense too, and I would be very interested in seeing a detailed study. Having one route is not an ideal situation, especially when that one route is prone to heavy congestion and adverse weather conditions.

 

If the bridge in Kelowna could be built for $144M, then surely one over the Saanich Peninsula could be built at a cost effective value. The cost comparison between expanding the Malahat to four lanes and a bridge would be interesting.



#57 Mike K.

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 02:01 PM

Let's say for the sake of argument a bridge spanning the Inlet will cost $400 million and we'll need an additional $50 million for connector infrastructure and interchanges. Even if the Malahat upgrade costs less than $450 million we still need a secondary route to the south Island and at some point after having expensed however many hundreds of millions to beef up the Malahat we'll have to do it all over again at another location.

 

I mean for crying out loud, nobody seems to have a problem with spending $1 billion to build a silly LRT to Langford or just as much to build a questionable sewage treatment system but when it comes to major necessary infrastructure a lot of folks get upset.


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#58 Mike K.

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 02:29 PM

Here are the MoT's hypothetical bridge head locations.

 

Saanich Inlet bridge locations.jpg


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#59 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 03:24 PM

That southern-most one is silly.


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#60 LJ

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 06:57 PM

That southern-most one is silly.

Especially when you consider the road work involved with it.


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