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Bridge won’t be built to link Vancouver Island with mainland

NANAIMO, B.C. -- Building a bridge linking Vancouver Island with the mainland isn't practical, says a B.C. Transpor...

NANAIMO, B.C. — Building a bridge linking Vancouver Island with the mainland isn’t practical, says a B.C. Transportation Ministry report.

Using current technology, the report indicates it would cost $12 billion and take 25 years to complete. Users would then have to pay a one-way toll of $800 to achieve a 20 per cent return on investment for the province, the report says.

“We have given a lot of thought to the bridge,” B.C. Transportation Minister, Judith Reid, tells local media.

The report also examined options including a bored tunnel, a submerged floating tunnel, a floating pontoon bridge and some cable-style bridges supported on floating anchored piers. However none of the options can be achieved due to a number of technological and environmental challenges.

“We have very unusual conditions (in the strait),” says Reid. They include frequent earthquakes, deep, soft sediments on the ocean bed, high winds and heavy marine traffic. Also, the bridge would have to be 26 kilometres long in 365-metre-deep water. The Confederation Bridge in P.E.I., by contrast, is only 12.9 km long in water that’s only 35 metres deep and has a rocky bottom.

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