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New plan for Third Crossing Society

POWELL RIVER, B.C. – The Third Crossing Society is continuing its work to deliver a bridged connection between Powell River and Squamish.

Society President, Gary Fribance, said their new plan includes the construction of a bridge over Jervis Inlet, as well as a new deep-sea port near St. Vincent Bay, close to Hotham Sound.

He said that instead of building a route across Jervis Inlet, the bridge would go over the Inlet.

“We have determined that a shorter route, about one-half the distance could prevail, and the bridge could carry a train, in fact. That’s where we’re at right now,” Fribance said.

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This proposed route would start near Brackendale, ascend the Ashlu Forest Service Road, cross a summit, descend the Vancouver River, cross Jervis and then follow the west side of Hotham Sound and St. Vincent Bay to Highway 101 near Saltery Bay.

Fribance said that studies have shown that there could also be a bridge from the lower Highway 99 to Anvil Island in Howe Sound to the Lower Sunshine Coast.

“That would eliminate the Langdale ferry, you could move the eastern terminus of the Nanaimo ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale, and the new highway to Anvil Island would become part of the Trans-Canada highway system so federal cost savings would come into play,” he explained.

“We think we’ll get the Lower Sunshine Coast road, which will put Powell River as a one ferry town instead of a two ferry town. We believe that if the Port of Vancouver would see fit to extend itself into Hotham Sound, that would justify a railway and we would have the development of the Port of Vancouver reaching into Hotham Sound.”

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Fribance noted the Port of Vancouver is very congested and is expected to see major growth over the next 20 years.

He said approval would be needed from the provincial government and ultimately, BC Ferries.

“Whether or not they would get a good dose of money from the federal government, depends on the federal government’s call,” he said.

“We’re beginning conversation with Marc Garneau, the Minister of Transport for Canada, as we’re already in conversation with the BC Minister of Transport. We have been with the last Minister, Todd Stone, and the current Minister, Claire Trevena.”

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Fribance said the society is holding its annual general meeting on Wednesday, March 28 at the Town Centre Hotel at 7:30 p.m. for any residents looking for further details on the project.

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