There is current debate about whether or not to build a bridge to Vancouver Island, British Columbia (BC) and the mainland. Many arguments for, and against, exist. Some believe that a bridge to Vancouver Island with provide an economic boost to the surrounding area. Others believe that a bridge to the island will lead to destruction of the pristine nature of the island.
The proposed bridge is compared to the bridge built connecting Prince Edward Island and the eastern mainland of Canada (New Brunswick). Feasibility studies give a grim picture of the work required, and funds needed, to construct a bridge over the Georgia Strait. Many believe that the cost of the project would outweigh any economic gain to the Island and the mainland.
Vancouver Island is serviced by an airport at Nanaimo where customers can fly to and from the mainland airports located at Victoria (southern tip of Vancouver Island) and Vancouver BC. Ferry service to the island consists of four routes:
Ferry service to the island can take more than 1 hours to cross the 26 Kilometer wide Georgia Strait and cost up to $60 per car. A proposed bridge would run from Vancouver Island to the Vancouver area on the Mainland.
Studies conducted in the 1980's examined the feasibility of building a fixed link (bridge) connecting Vancouver Island with Vancouver on the Mainland. ...
These studies didn't end debate but did show that any type of bridge building would encounter major obstacles. Any bridge built would have to stand up to earthquakes and other engineering challenges (Ministry of Transportation). The Georgia Strait is a seismically active area. Other potential problems include (Ministry of Transportation):
length of a crossing could be up to 26 kilometres
water depths are up to 365 metres
deep, soft sediments of up to 450 metres on the ocean bed
potential marine slope instabilities along the eastern side of the Strait could result in future underwater landslides
extreme wave conditions (4 to 7 metre waves, with 6 metre tides and 2 knot current)
design wind speed of 115 kmh with gusts up to 180 kmh
passage of major ships through the area; and the need to protect a crossing structure against ship impact (a floating bridge could not withstand the impact of a tanker vessel).
Several bridge types were proposed for study. They include a bored tunnel, submerged floating tunnel, floating pontoon bridge, and a series of cable style bridges (Ministry of Transportation).
The bridge proposal is often compared to the bridge that was built between Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, Canada. There are many similarities. Residents argued that a new bridge would destroy the environment on Prince Edward Island. Others argued that the convenience and fees would be lower for a fixed link than the ferry system that was in place. Both bridge locations have severe weather considerations.
Economic growth in a specified area can be accomplished in many ways. Economic growth theory is used to explain how different factors