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BC Ferries halts terminal expansion project following protests

It appears the expansion project on Denman Island’s Gravelly Bay terminal has been put on hold following protests.

The ferry line announced today that it would be halting the project so that further reengagement can happen later this year.

Community consultations happened in 2017 and 2018 and BC Ferries says safety concerns at the terminal were identified as a top priority. To address this, they opted to remove 100 trees from the Gravelly Bay terminal to increase holding capacity, prevent backup onto the road and make other changes.

Friends of Denman Forests spokesperson C Urquhart says many residents were concerned with the habitat destruction, and staged protests on Monday when construction was set to begin.

Instead, they are proposing BC Ferries use a larger vessel to combat lines instead of terminal modifications.

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“A larger vessel on the route doesn’t necessarily mean that less traffic will be left lined up at the terminal or reduce the long lines of traffic that queue along the residential road approaching the terminal,” said BC Ferries in an update.

“A vessel with more capacity may in fact increase demand and exacerbate the current situation or at the very least have no effect. A larger lot gives certainty that safety concerns associated with congestion are addressed.”

The project was supposed to start a few years ago, but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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