From the East Gate, the corridor of new rail and new highway will ascend the Squamish and Ashlu Rivers and proceed to the summit before descending the Vancouver River to Vancouver Bay and the bridge crossing Jervis Inlet. From there, new rail will connect to St. Vincent Bay, the main part, and the first phase of Jervis Ports. Also new highway will connect to Saltrey Bay and Highway 101 and Powell River.
Thus, the entire route will connect highways 99 and 101. Accordingly, because the corridor connects two numbered highways, it will also be a numbered highway, and be built to that standard.
The naturel terrain is a challenge, and the exact route will be determined by engineers in the course of conducting the Class D studies
From the East Gate, very little elevation is gained in the distance from the Gate along the rivers. Then an abrupt increase occurs. It appears that the ascent can only be tamed by beginning it closer to the East Gate. Also, a tunnel may be appropriate to effectively decrease the elevation for a fairly short distance near the summit.
Elevation changes & Distances: Eastgate to Westgate
|Bridge - east approach||200m|
|Bridge - west Approach||200m|
|St. Vincent Bay||10m|
|Saltery Bay||10 m|
Our initial thoughts are that the descent to Vancouver Bay should end at about 200 metres of elevation and proceed (at that same elevation) to the bridge crossing Jervis Inlet and continuing on the west side of Hotham Sound until the descent into St. Vincent Bay where the rail will end.
Then the highway only, will continue to the West Gate of the Corridor at Saltery Bay and Highway 101, thereby accessing Powell River’s schools, hospital and urban amenities.
The most challenging part of the corridor is the crossing of Princess Royal Reach on Jervis Inlet. The distance is slightly over one km but the water is very deep. Accordingly, the towers will be close to the shorelines. The 1+ km span is feasible according to the international engineering firm with whom we began consultations in late 2017. Their very preliminary cost estimate was under $1 billion.
The total rail: new links from Ashcroft to Pavillion (60 kms) and the East Gate to St. Vincent Bay (90 kms), and one link to be upgraded from Pavilion to the East Gate.
Adequate highway exists most of the route. New highway from Highway 99 at the East Gate to Saltery Bay (100 kms) is needed. Some upgrading of parts of the Duffy lake section should be considered.
By comparison, the CN and CP lines are about 316 kms from Ashcroft to Vancouver’s harbour.
Only freight destined for consumption in Vancouver and coal and potash will continue to the south. Other freight bound for the export market will move through Lillooet and the corridor to St. Vincent Bay.