Proposed route could eliminate need for ferries

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SQUAMISH, B.C. — A B.C. developer is pushing for a freeway linking the mountain town of Whistler, B.C. with the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island.

Jim McLean, president of British Pacific Properties in West Vancouver, has penned a proposed four-lane route that would run from Squamish to Sechelt and then along the coast through Earl’s Cove, Powell River, Cortes Bay and across Sutil Channel before hooking up with existing roadways at the northern end of Vancouver Island.

The catch is, McLean is proposing that tolls be used to pay for the project. But he insists the highway would consist of a series of bridges that could eliminate the need for ferries running from Horseshoe Bay.

He also contends the proposed route would alleviate traffic congestion on the Sea-to-Sky Highway and Lions Gate Bridge.

McLean hopes that with public support, the first phase of the project can be completed by 2010, with completion of the project slated for 2020. This is not a new idea, however. McLean has been toying with the plan for more than 20 years.

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