Update! From http://olyecology.livejournal.com/
November 11th, 2007
1) Local environmentalists aren't going to give up the fight over a new interchange in langford, which is slated to begin construction in the new year. A lively protest took place over the noon hour in downtown Victoria -- more than one hundred people showing their disgust with plans for the Spencer road interchange -- more commonly known as the bear mountain interchange. They rallied outside the downtown Victoria offices of the B.C. ministry of transportation, next to the central library branch. Activist grandmother Betty Krawczyk whipped up the crowd, saying her efforts to block a highway project at Eagleridge bluffs on the mainland is similar to the Langford situation. "Everything that has to do with equality, that has to do with love for the environment, for each other," Krawczyk says, "every institution that we have has been put there by somebody before us who loves enough to commit civil disobedience." Krawczyk has spent many months in jail for her own civil disobedience on plenty of fronts -- and Tuesday's crowd seems to indicate many young people are willing to follow her lead. "They're not going to put everybody in jail," she says, "not now. not when the Olympics eye is on this area." Construction on the $32-million interchange is set to begin by January -- and is scheduled for completion in 2010. The city of Langford is on record as saying the project will proceed in the new year, no matter how much protest occurs. There have been people perched in the trees near the proposed interchange site since April, as a show of support for the anti-development movement. http://www.cfax1070.com/newsstory.php?newsId=3735
From: "Zoe Blunt"
Bear Mtn Interchange: Destruction starts in December Chainsaws, bulldozers, and blasting are on the way. Are we ready? Join us at a public rally at the Ministry of Transportation this Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 12 noon, at Library Square downtown (BroughtonStreet and Douglas). Bring your friends and welcome Grandma Betty Krawczyk's return after her release from jail for defending Eagleridge Bluffs.Now is the time to get involved. According to city staff and engineers, tree clearing for the Bear Mountain Interchange will begin in early December, followed by road grading in January and overpass construction in March. The alignment for the three-lane road was moved slightly to the east, which engineers claim will miss Langford Lake Cave by 20 meters. It is not clear if the cave will be damaged by drilling and blasting, or if the road grade will destroy part of the 40-meter-long cavity.The new highway alignment puts the road much closer to Spencer's Pond. It will destroy the forest on its western edge, which is crucialhabitat for Pacific tree frogs and red-legged frogs. The new highway will also kill many red-legged frogs and habitat for screech owls,great horned owls, pileated woodpeckers, and dozens of other species.The first phase of construction is a north-south connector linkingBear Mountain Parkway with Goldstream Avenue and Highway 1, pluson-ramps on the north and east sides of Leigh Road. The new highway isthree lanes wide in most places, and up to five lanes wide near the overpass. See high resolution image here: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2128/1821229691_dfe3bbec56_b.jpg
Phase Two will add the cloverleaf to the west of Leigh Road, south of the highway where the tree sit camp is located. No timeline has been assigned to the second phase of the interchange. What does this mean? We can expect to see new property markers, flagging tape and painted blazes in the forest. The first work crews that come in will cut down all the trees in the right of way and haul them out. The timber is a"gift" to the Esquimalt First Nation. After all the trees are cut down, bulldozers, rock drills and blasting equipment will level the landscape. The rise at the end of Leigh Roadwill be blasted out and the wetlands below will be filled in to even the grade. A substantial amount of fill will be needed on the downhill side, as the grade will join to an overpass over the highway. Habitat will be destroyed and fragmented. The sit camp is about 40 meters outside of the right of way, but the city may need to evict the campers anyway because of tree-falling safety rules. Anyone blocking the way can expect to have court documents served on them or possibly be arrested for trespassing. There is information about civil disobedience at the camp. Those defending the forest and the cave will use every available peaceful means to stop or delay construction. Please come to the treesit at the north end of Leigh Road, half a kilometer west of Spencer Road and Goldstream Avenue in Langford. Action is needed now, and experienced activists are especially encouraged to apply. Thank you!-- ZoeBlunt@gmail.comMore info, maps and directions: http://treesit.blogspot.com/http://interchangeconsultation.blogspot.com/-- -~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
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