The orange arrow represents where the current natural gas pipeline sits parallel to Langford Parkway

Langford pipeline move to boost parking off parkway

Langford Lake access affected through the busy summer months

The City of Langford is relocating pipelines for parking.

Relocation begins July 2 for a 200-metre underground stretch of a Fortis gas pipeline adjacent to Westhills Stadium’s turf field. The 10-inch natural gas pipe, servicing much of Greater Victoria, will be moved from the south side of Langford Parkway, to the north side of the road.

“It is to create more parking and get the line out of the way so we can do things around it … We would have way more access in and out,” said Langford Coun. Matt Sahlstrom. “This will make it so much easier for people to enjoy the many, many amenities (of the parks).”

The parking area would be used for people attending events at the two sports fields, Langford Lanes and City Centre Park, as well as those accessing Langford Lake. The construction will require closure of that section of Langford Parkway on predetermined days, with periodic lane closures in the area between July 2 and mid to late August.

Langford director of engineering, Michelle Mahovlich, acknowledged the closures would inconvenience some residents. She said a number of factors precipitated choosing the summer months to do the work, including a lower water table that allows for easier removal of the pipeline. Decreased gas consumption in summer also allows for reduced service disruption for Fortis, which is sharing the cost evenly with the City of Langford.

“We really encourage residents to go to the website and watch for traffic advisories,” Mahovlich said. “Best estimates (are) already online.”

Safety will also be improved following construction. It was not properly ballasted when the pipeline was first installed and the north west side of the turf field is currently slumping.

That will be backfilled to fix the field and accommodate the greater weight of a parking lot that is expected to stretch from the ticket booth next to the turf, towards Goudy field. The trail from Langford Parkway to Langford Lake beach will also be temporarily closed, with access restricted for the duration of the construction.

Access to Langford Lake Beach continues via Leigh Road, with the exception of Aug. 5 to 7, when a number of facilities will be closed for three days to accommodate the removal.

“Langford’s policy is to never have pay parking,” Sahlstrom said.

“People still use their cars a lot and come from all over the region to use our facilities, so they need a place to park. You know how frustrating it is to drive around for an hour looking for a parking spot.”

Work crews will be onsite six days a week, Monday through Saturday, until the project’s expected completion in late August. There is no service disruption expected for the natural gas pipeline customers.

“The pipeline is an essential part of the infrastructure for the Greater Victoria,” said Fortis spokesperson Michael Allison.

“We do apologize for the inconvenience and hope to wrap this project up and essentially pave the way for the construction that the city needs to do.”

alim@vicnews.com