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What bypasses does Highway 101 need? The province wants to know

Is a bypass coming to Highway 101? Probably not an end-to-end one but there could be a series of smaller ones. Public consultations are under way to see what the public has to say.
Map of Highway 101 alternate routes
"A total of 14 alignment options were considered, of which 11 met the criteria for further analysis, as shown in this overview map. Public engagement will help refine the list of feasible options for further analysis and costing," explain the Highway 101 Alternate Route Planning Study display boards.

BC's Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is developing a long-term plan for Highway 101 between Gibsons and Sechelt and with that comes – a study. 

The public will have the chance to hear about "Highway 101 Alternate Route Planning Study" and at two virtual information sessions later this month: 

  • June 23, 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Zoom. 
  • June 29, 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Zoom

The virtual open house runs June 16 to July 28 and an online survey is now open on the provincial website. 

"The study will help the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, in partnership with shíshálh Nation and in collaboration with Squamish Nation, identify preferred long-term routing for the corridor," said a provincial news release. "These decisions will then support local and regional governments in future land-use planning and support ministry highway infrastructure investment planning over the next 20 to 50 years."

Daily vehicle traffic volume on the highway has risen about 20 per cent in the last five years, said the release. 

"As communities continue to grow, it is becoming increasingly important to protect the role and function of the highway for inter-regional and local travel, including planning for transit and active transportation, climate change, and environmental protection," said the release. "While there is no foreseeable need for a full, end-to-end bypass route based on demand alone, key locations could benefit from an alternate route to address congestion, reliability, and growing safety challenges."

"Feedback received will be considered in shortlisting the options, with the preferred long-term solution identified by early 2023," said the press release. 

The latest major study of Highway 101 was released in 2020 – the Gibsons to Sechelt Corridor Study, which recommended more than $20 million in improvements.