The BC Government, including the Ministry of Transportation, has fed a great deal of misinformation to the people of BC, Canada and the world about the impact to the environment, recreation and visual values, the cost and the safety of a 2.4km overland highway route versus a 1.4 km four lane divided tunnel. Adding a third lane to the existing 3 km of highway, from Lions Bay to Sunset Beach, is also a very viable, low-impact option, which would likely save the taxpayer over 100 million dollars.
Being the consummate professional photographer, my camera’s battery crapped out after exactly two photos. No problem, I’ve got a backup! It crapped out immediately as well. Happily, Todd brought his camera, and snapped a bunch of photos. My favourite is the one of me and a big hoe.
Ultimately, I didn’t really get much new information while we visited. We snooped around a bit, took some photos, and that was about it.
The protesters’ website is very detailed, but is a little light on stated sources. For example, they claim “The long-term cost and benefits of a properly designed tunnel make its cost comparable to that of the planned 4-lane highway route”, but don’t actually offer a comparison. They never indicate how much more a tunnel would cost up front. According to the Globe and Mail, a tunnel would cost $75 million more.
Another fact that the protectors are fast and loose on is the actual area affected by the overland highway. We’re talking about a pretty small region here: the planned highway extension will be 2.4 km, while the proposed tunnel will be 1.4 km. You can see some before and after photos from the protectors’ site.
I’ve been unable to find a map, but let’s say we’re talking about 9 square kilometres. A tunnel would cost an additional $8.3 million per kilometre. That’s pretty rich for a chunk of land overlooking the highway.