01/25/2016 19:44 EST | Updated 01/25/2017 00:12 EST

Building bridge between Nanaimo, B.C., Gabriola Island too costly: province

NANAIMO, B.C. — The province says the costs of building a bridge from Nanaimo, B.C., to Gabriola Island outweigh the potential benefits.

A feasibility study into the project says the bridge could technically be built, but would not be as cost-effective as the current ferry link.

The study by engineering consulting firm CH2MHill examined road connections, construction costs, operation and maintenance costs, travel time, reliability and environmental impacts.

Possible road and bridge options in the report ranged in cost from $258 million to $520 million, with the average project cost estimated at $359 million.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says in a release that there is simply not enough compelling evidence to justify the bridge.

He says the existing ferry service is the best way to ensure coastal communities are connected in an affordable, efficient and sustainable manner.




The Canadian Press