Sea-to-Sky highway work continues despite protests
VANCOUVER — B.C.’s transport minister says protesting residents and environmental activists won’t deter the province’s plan to continue the $600-million Sea-to-Sky Highway project.
Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon said his resolve is absolute in commencing construction on the $130-million, four-lane highway section through Eagleridge Bluffs and Larsen Creek, despite a group of protestors who have set up camp at the bluffs overlooking Horseshoe Bay.
The job is expected to take 24 to 30 months and will include drilling, blasting, clearing, earthworks, drainage and roadwork activity.
According to Canadian Press, the protestors are made of mainly of an ad-hoc group calling themselves the Coalition to Save Eagleridge Bluffs, led by former Green party deputy leader Dennis Perry,
They are urging the province to not build the highway through what they say is an ecologically sensitive area. Instead, they want either a four-lane divided tunnel or add a third lane to the existing highway in order to save the bluffs, reports CP.
The change would add about $70 million to the project.
But Falcon rejected the suggestion as too costly, adding protesters who get in the way of the construction on the 100-km highway face arrest.
The Sea-to-Sky Highway undertaking makes improvements to the highway Horseshoe Bay and Whistler in time for the upcoming Winter Olympics in 2010.
Improvements include highway widening and straightening, improved sightlines, 80 percent more passing lanes, more median barriers, and other design innovations and measures to reduce hazards, shorten travel times and increase capacity, says the ministry.
So far 14 km of upgrades have been completed on Culliton to Cheakamus and Ansell Place to Lions Bay.
— files from Canadian Press
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