Page 3 of 3
BEST argues for an innovative solution thats sustainable in the long term, as opposed to the status quo highway expansion which will inevitable lead to more cars on the highway and ultimately more highway expansion in the future.
The current upgrades include: an increase of four lanes from Horseshoe Bay to Lions Bay; two lanes from Lions Bay to Porteau Cove (the rail bed will be paved over during the Olympics to make this section three lanes); three lanes from Porteau Cove to Squamish; four lanes through urban Squamish; and three lanes from Squamish to Whistler. Its at least a five-year project.
While the government goes through its environmental assessment process over the next six months, they will begin testing construction on a strip of highway next month.
The one kilometre test stretch near Lions Bay is in an area where a lot of rock has to be removed.
"Were basically sort of proving out some geotechnical investigations and well be able to demonstrate that it will have a very low impact on the traffic as well," said Lichtensteiger.
The upgrades in this section include a split grade alignment.
"A lot of that is looked at primarily to minimize the impacts of traffic during construction," said Lichtensteiger.
The split grade alignment will allow traffic to flow on the old roadway while construction takes place on the new roadway below. Eventually both the upper and lower routes will be open for traffic.
The work on the test section will begin in October. Primarily results are expected to be available by November and will then be a part of the EAO application. The government is hoping to have an EAO certification by February so that they can begin work on the $600 million highway upgrades in spring 2004.
The comment period will run until Oct. 17. There are several ways to add your comments to the provincial government:
Write to Raymond Crook, PO Box 9426 Stn Prov Govt, Victoria, BC V8W 9V1;