The Government of B.C. will study the costs and benefits of a possible highway link between the Sunshine Coast and Metro Vancouver, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone announced today.
“We’ve heard from stakeholders from Powell River to the Sunshine Coast that highway access is important for attracting tourism and investment,” said Stone. “Over the coming months, we’ll look at the opportunities available and see how the costs and benefits stack up against the existing transportation options.”
A number of potential connections will be explored, with options ranging from a highway link around Jervis Inlet, to direct bridge connections along the coast. The costs and benefits of each will be assessed, and compared with ferry services.
West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy will also meet with local governments and community leaders on the Sunshine Coast and in the Sea to Sky to further gauge community interest in a highway link.
“While there are many who will embrace a more non-stop connection to Metro Vancouver, there are others who won’t want to see such change,” said Sturdy. “As the costs and benefits of various links are assessed, it’s important to hear first-hand how communities feel about the possibilities.”
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is proceeding with a Request for Proposals (RFP) to retain a firm with the expertise to undertake the study. The RFP is in development and will be posted in the coming weeks, with the study expected to get underway later this year.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will post the study’s full terms of reference once the consultant is in place.