Thursday April 24, 2014


question of the week

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Ferries, time to make some major changes

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Editor:

Our family has had our place on the Sunshine Coast for almost 85 years, and I have been coming here for more than 70 of them. I am a supporter of BC Ferries, but in so many cases their hands are tied. The rhetoric at the BCF meetings I have attended is often too much to take. I have seen many changes over the years, but I think it is time for a major change.

I am proposing that a bridge to Gambier Island be built from the Sunshine Coast across Thornbrough Channel from approximately Williamsons Landing to a point on Gambier Island north of New Brighton. The bridge would be similar to the Halogaland suspension bridge currently under construction in Narvik, Norway.

A two-lane, limited access, divided roadway would connect the east end of the bridge to a new BCF terminal at Halkett Bay near the south-east corner of Gambier Island. BCF could utilize two new intermediate-class ferries on the Horseshoe Bay-Halkett Bay route. Using two smaller vessels with a shorter travel time would result in much better scheduling to meet the needs of the Coast’s travellers. Crossing time would be 20 to 25 minutes depending on the speed of the ferries used. Through buses from Sechelt and Gibsons, travelling on the ferry direct to downtown Vancouver is a possibility.

This is not a short-term solution to everyone’s concerns, but a long-term plan. If adopted, planned expansion and modifications to the Langdale terminal would be shelved. Future vessel purchasing and deployment would take this long-term plan into consideration.

A number of topics have been considered, but are too lengthy to include in this overview letter. An expanded proposal would address the impact on Gambier Island, benefits to BCF and the people of the Sunshine Coast.

Derek Johns, Gibsons


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