Colwood is moving ahead with beautifying its section of Island Highway, otherwise known as the Colwood strip.
The City plans to issue a tender this week for a sidewalk on the west side of Island Highway, from Great Canadian Casino to Wale Road. The plan includes building bike lanes on both sides of the road.
Colwood is matching a $395,000 provincial grant with accumulated development fees to fund the project. The City is eager to connect sidewalks to work already done by West Shore Parks and Recreation and View Royal.
“There are challenges with that design. There is a gas main in the way,” said Colwood engineer Michael Baxter. “But we expect to go to tender early (this) week.”
Colwood also wants to create a crosswalk across Island Highway near the recreation centre entrance. Baxter said that is a tricky project, but the City wants to create better pedestrian safety in that area. “The crosswalk design is not finished yet,” he said. “The challenge is building a cross walk that doesn’t interfere with (vehicle) access.”
Ideally the crosswalk would be to the south of the recreation vehicle access. Baxter said many people jaywalk across the busy five-lane road to get to the courthouse or restaurants.
“The recreation centre attracts a lot of people and younger people, who walk to the other side to the food joints,” Baxter said. “Seeing people cross that road is scary.”