Letter: Feasibility study wholly unsatisfactory

Tuesday, February 16 2016

Can anyone really be satisfied with the results of the MOTI/CH2M Gabriola Bridge Feasibility Study? Even those who are against the bridge must surely wonder at the study’s focus and conclusions. What was this really about? Why did it cost $200K? It is hard to believe this simplistic piece of work was done by a professional engineering firm. Lately, I have lost faith in government at all levels being able to properly manage our tax dollars. The CH2M feasibility study was bogus in that it did not meet acceptable standards. Its assumptions were based on falsehoods and inferior data. 

For example, the bridge determined to be a best fit didn’t even cross at the narrowest point of False Narrows. 

In fact, a bridge at the narrowest point of False Narrows wasn’t even considered, although it would have been the most inexpensive and least disruptive. 

It appears that the study’s cost benefit analysis was developed with an end result in mind. I thought this was supposed to be a feasibility study, and the cost benefit portion was to be accomplished through a process of informed discussion amongst the communities, if it was determined to be feasible. 

I am wondering if the government got cold feet after initiating the feasibility study contract, perhaps partly because of two rather questionable petitions submitted against a bridge. 

If so, then why didn’t government just stop the process in its tracks and pay CH2M its costs to that point - which would have been minimal. 

Something is terribly amiss in this process that produced such a flawed study, and 10 months late - and you have to ask what was going on. 

Meddling in the findings and/or incompetence are highly likely. This whole thing leaves me bewildered and disgusted. 

John Mallett 

Mudge Island