Have you ever cruised along the southwest coast of Vancouver Island? Highway 14, which connects the city charm of Victoria with the crashing surf near Port Renfrew, is one of the Island’s most scenic drives and a regular route for surfers, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.
While the drive has always been beautiful, it covers some pretty rugged coastal terrain. For years (55 to be exact), drivers had to navigate some very tight switchback turns near the old Sombrio Bridge #1, located 15 kilometres east of Port Renfrew.
“They weren’t ideal for truck traffic, and anyone carrying a boat or a motorhome had difficulty getting through there,” says ministry project manager Darren Englund.
But that was before the highway alignment was straightened and the old single-lane timber bridge was replaced with a new two-lane 124-metre concrete and steel bridge last fall. The upgrade makes Highway 14, along with all those road trippers travelling the Pacific Marine Circle Route, much safer.
“Once they know this road is improved, we’ll see quite a lot more traffic this way,” says site supervisor John Warmenhovin.
Although the bridge took about seven months to build (it opened to traffic in December 2012), you get the chance to watch its construction in less than three minutes in this time lapse video. As a bonus, we included some old school electronic music — house, trance, techno… we’re not sure exactly which genre, but the beat sure helps sustain the video’s fast pace. Our favourite part of the video begins just 10 seconds in, with the girders moving into place. Enjoy!