BACA vows to press on with bridge lobby

We are told that the B.C. Ministry of Transportation has a five year plan and presently this crossing is not in that plan. We are...

Editor,

Re: Despite revived lobby, ministry says no fixed crossing between Nakusp and Revelstoke, News, Jan. 25

In spite of the article, BACA feels that so far we are right on course. We have made good progress and there will indeed be a new crossing. It will not be on April 1 this year nor will it be for several April firsts to come.

We are told that the B.C. Ministry of Transportation has a five year plan and presently this crossing is not in that plan. We are trying to change that.

As I write this, the ministry is looking at our proposal and very shortly they will tell us if our business case has merit. If the answer is yes, we expect the project will be put on some kind of a plan and serious steps will be taken to make it a reality. Engineering studies, environmental study, First Nations consulted, Columbia River Treaty authority consulted to mention a few. All this will take time but the new ferry is needed now.

We are saying that building the fixed crossing today would cost the same amount as building and running the ferry for about 27 years. At the end of the 27 years, the ferry will be ending its life and would be costing around $18 million per year to operate by 2039. By then it will have added at least 98,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the air plus pollution from idling vehicles and wasted at least 750,000 man hours (there is at least 30 minutes wasted time for every person on a ferry crossing, not counting missed sailings, usually in the summer.)

David Wilks, MP tells us that the new ferry will be built but at the same time he is encouraging us to keep working hard towards getting the fixed crossing on the B.C. government’s agenda. Furthermore, he is strongly hinting that there may be federal money available for this. He thinks a fixed crossing is a great idea. So do MLAs Bill Bennett, Norm Macdonald, Katrine Conroy and very likely Michelle Mungall. Oh, and so do 700 local people, who support it in writing.

In our business case, Options 7 and 8, with estimated costs of $218 million and $198 million, are the frontrunners. Each has a causeway and bridge across Beaton Arm and while Option 7 continues to Revelstoke on the east side, Option 8 crosses the Columbia River at Sidmouth and utilizes existing Highway 23 North. Visit www.ArrowBACA.ca and read our business case there.

Gene Nagy, Treasurer/Secretary, BACA

Nakusp, B.C.