Hundreds of commuters enjoyed the salute to Langford's mayor, and plans are in the works for a permanent marker to acknowledge Young's unique contribution to the half-built, unfunded interchange. The banner memorializes Young's heroism in smacking down residents who questioned the wisdom of borrowing up to $25 million for the project, and those who argued that a sacred cave and rare ecosystems were more important than enhanced highway access for a bankrupt resort.
Now that the Bear Mountain and Skirt Mountain developers have defaulted on paying back the cost of construction, Langford residents are taking the initiative to honour the mayor who made it possible. From the beginning, Stew Young led the charge to push the project through at any cost. The climax came in February 2008, when he arranged for a hundred RCMP officers to descend on a small protest camp in a military-style raid. The cops kept onlookers away while city crews cut the trees and filled the sacred cave with rebar and cement.
Artist's concept of a permanent Stew Young memorial
The original name of the bridge, Bear Mountain Interchange, was axed by Langford council in favour of Spencer Interchange, a confusing term that refers to Spencer Road half a kilometer away. The label Bridge to Nowhere is more accurate, but it may be trademarked by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, so it should be avoided for official purposes.
The STEWPID Bridge, on the other hand, is PERFECT.