Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will be seeking input from Sunshine Coast residents and other interested individuals and organizations on the potential of a highway link between the Sunshine Coast and Lower Mainland, as part of its Sunshine Coast Fixed Link Feasibility Study.
“Public input is an important consideration as we study the feasibility of a fixed link to the Sunshine Coast,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. “I invite Sunshine Coast residents in particular to look at the discussion materials online and provide feedback, or attend one of our public open houses to learn more.”
“I know many Sunshine Coast and Sea to Sky residents have been eager to provide input,” said West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy. “We received significant feedback from local governments and First Nations in meetings over the summer and I’m extremely interested in what residents have to say about the practicality of a potential future connection between the Sunshine Coast and Lower Mainland.”
The online feedback form will be available from Oct. 18 to Nov. 8, 2016. In addition, open houses will be held in Gibsons, Powell River, Sechelt, Squamish and West Vancouver between Oct. 18 and Oct. 27, 2016. Ministry representatives and study team members will be present to answer questions and provide more detail on the feasibility study.
A number of potential connections between the Sunshine Coast and Lower Mainland are being explored. Concepts range from a highway link around Jervis Inlet to direct bridge connections along the coast. The costs and benefits of each potential connection will be assessed and will be compared with existing ferry services.
R.F. Binnie and Associates, a Vancouver-based civil engineering firm with expertise in consultation processes, is gathering and updating technical information on the options. Public and stakeholder input will also be considered by the ministry as it assesses the practicality of a potential connection between the Sunshine Coast and Lower Mainland.
R.F. Binnie’s final report to government on the Sunshine Coast Fixed Link Feasibility Study is expected in late 2016.
A backgrounder follows.