Letter: Dig tunnel for traffic under TCH corridor

A tunnel mitigates all the concerns of a bypass

Dig tunnel for traffic under TCH corridor

There has been a lot of talk of building a bypass to alleviate the immense congestion along the TCH corridor through Duncan and North Cowichan. There have been studies done to see if a bypass would be viable but it was concluded a bypass would pose a number of challenges. Some concerns were building through environmental sensitive areas, immense land acquisition, going through rural farmland.

Instead of a bypass, I believe a tunnel running directly under the current corridor is the best solution. A tunnel mitigates all the concerns of a bypass. It could be costly but there will be many immense benefits of a tunnel, including:

• Minimize potential environmental impact such as traffic congestion,

• Minimize congestion due to pedestrian movement,

• Reduce impacts on air quality,

• Reduce noise pollution as they are covered. Imagine how quiet the area would be if there was a tunnel.

• Minimize visual intrusion;

• Land acquisition not required.

• Tunnels are adopted to protect areas of special cultural/historical importance

• Can be adopted to avoid the impact on natural habitat.

Also, if a tunnel was constructed, part of the current highway could be reclaimed to greenspace making it viable for wildlife. Bicycle and walking pathways could be constructed.

To make tunneling cost effective, perhaps a team of engineers could be assembled and brainstorm ideas.

Engineering firms could a conduct a study to see if a tunnel running through Duncan/North Cowichan is feasible. To recoup costs, perhaps tolls could be implemented for a few years.

For this highway and future highway development, we should seriously look at tunnelling.

Nehru Manak