Bear Mountain Pkwy. connection will help alleviate traffic woes

Langford to receive funds from CRD to put infrastructure underground

As crews prepare to break ground and forge ahead on the construction of Bear Mountain Parkway, Langford council and staff are eagerly pushing the project along.

“It’s all coming together for Langford in terms of our road network,” said Coun. Lillian Szpak. “People are anxious for the results and they’re coming.”

The project will see Bear Mountain Parkway connected from the Leigh Road and McCallum Road intersection (near the Leigh Road Interchange) up roughly 3.5 kilometres to the existing Bear Mountain Parkway at the Country Club Way roundabout.

Windley Contracting has been awarded the construction contract and the project is expected to take approximately one year to complete.

“It’s part of our transportation plan for the City of Langford,” Szpak said. This access to Bear Mountain will complete the circle and is expected to alleviate some of the congestion on Millstream Road. Szpak added that many residents she’s heard from are eagerly awaiting this project as a way to also help with congestion in the area during major events.

“We all know what the Millstream overpass is like,” she said. While noting the Leigh Road interchange already is taking some of that pressure off, she added the new road will take that to the next level.

Langford council is also pushing to have utilities installed under the roadway before final paving is complete. Szpak said digging up the road after the fact would be a “waste of money” and cause more disruption for area residents.

The sentiment was unanimously agreed on by the Capital Regional District’s Juan de Fuca Water Distribution Commission, which last week agreed to make the project a priority for funding from the commission’s development cost charge (DCC) capital reserve fund. Szpak, a member of the commission, noted, “it’s a real example of our co-operation to recognize this needs to be a priority for the region.”

According to a CRD staff report, roughly $3.6 million from that reserve fund would be used to construct approximately 3.3 km of water distribution mains and three pressure reducing stations. Ultimately, the goal is to add another three kilometres of supply and distributions mains, a 3,100-cubic-metre reservoir and two pump stations for a full build out plan.

In the interim, the water main would be available for fire protection and would ultimately limit the future disturbance to the roadway when more services are added. Having this fire main also reduces the need for interim fire requirements in the McCallum Road pump station.

This main also allows the CRD to create a local service area and make additions to the system in phases, without having to drain the DCC funds all at once.

While it still needs to be passed by the CRD board and regional water supply commission, Szpak noted, “I don’t expect it to have any serious hurdles now.” She added the project generated a lot of good discussion and questions at the JdF commission level and Langford and CRD staff have worked hard to hammer out the details. “It’s ready to go ahead,” she said.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com