In a recent story in The Shingle, Trustee Malcolmson referred to the spectre of a bridge from Vancouver to Vancouver Island, and Trustee Rudischer asked whether Gabriola Island could afford a bridge to replace the Gabriola ferry. I shall not comment on the first issue but the question of affordability for the local project, is worthy of some discussion.
Each year Gabriola spends over $5 million of their hard-earned income on the ferry service, that brings 98 per cent of what we consume, takes residents to their workplace, transports school children and others to educational facilities, offers access to specialised health services, and much more. In ten years the $5 million is now worth $50 million. In another 10 Years another $50 million.
The estimated cost of building the Gabriola bridges, which have a 100 year life span is $100 million. Then we get 80 years of only maintenance and toll booth costs.
Can we afford NOT to replace the ferry with a bridge system?
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