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

Project brings more than 70 condos to foot of Saanich’s Christmas Hill

It is a grey Tuesday morning and Michael Cronquist, project manager for… Continue reading

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria expansion gets $6M boost from province

Project many years in the making, but planned for current Rockland site

Does a creature lurk beneath Cadboro Bay?

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

Washington State man facing murder charges in 1987 killing of Victoria couple

Two counts of aggravated first-degree murder filed against William Talbott II in Snohomish

Plastic bag ban guidelines unclear, local businesses say

Victoria’s BYOBag movement starts July 1, leaving local businesses with mixed feelings

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

B.C. NHL prospect expected to make ‘full recovery’ after an incident in Calgary

Jordy Bellerive was injured in a reported house fire Saturday night

Community gets ready to celbrate in Cordova Bay

Host of activities planned at various venues for Cordova Bay Day June 23

LOCAL FLAVOUR: Serenity Farm grows more than vegetables

June 26 0pen house at the garden located on grounds of the Seven Oaks Facility on Blenkinsop Road

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

From marijuana beer to pot cookies, Canadian companies creating cannabis edibles

Manufacturers think that edibles will do well with users who don’t want to smoke or vape

Privacy lawyer warns against victim blaming in recent sextortion scams

Perpetrators get sexual photos of the victim and threaten to share them with friends and families

Most Read