Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard stands on a 75-year-old bridge at Wilkinson Road near Lindsay Street that will be replaced as part of a larger project to improve Wilkinson Road for cyclists and pedestrians

Feds help fund Wilkinson Road upgrades

A $2.5-million upgrade to Wilkinson Road will make it easier to walk and bike along the notoriously traffic-heavy street.

A $2.5-million upgrade to Wilkinson Road will make it easier to walk and bike along the notoriously traffic-heavy street.

Saanich this week received a $1.75 million contribution to pay for most of the project through the Federal Gas Tax Fund. Taxpayers will be on the hook for $250,000 and development cost charges will pay the remaining $500,000.

The upgrade will see the installations of bike lanes from Mann Avenue to Lindsay Street, as well as extensions and improvements of sidewalks along Wilkinson. A 75-year-old pedestrian bridge near Lindsay Street will also be widened.

“This is replacing old infrastructure and making it new. This is not increasing the road capacity, this is not going to solve a traffic jam problem,” said Mayor Frank Leonard. “We’ve got an old bridge, we’ve got old infrastructure, and if we don’t deal with it, the next generation of taxpayers would either have a big bill or failed bridge. We can turn it into an asset for many decades to come.”

The project also includes plans for a rain garden that will treat stormwater before it enters the nearby Colquitz River. As well, the bike lanes will connect with Saanich’s Centennial Trail.

Leonard said there will come a day when the five-corners intersection – where Wilkinson meets Hastings Street and Interurban Road – is the focus of an upgrade, but stresses that this project isn’t it.

“Right now there’s no consensus and no budget. Obviously because of that we can’t just wait around (for those to be in place) and let the bridge rot away in the meantime,” he said.

Saanich isn’t new to receiving money from the Gas Tax Fund. A joint request with View Royal in 2011 earned the two municipalities $10 million to rebuild the Craigflower Bridge.

Saanich engineers are now working on a detailed design of the project. That process will be followed by some sort of public consultation. Physical work may not begin until 2014 or 2015.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Hundreds rally in support of horse carriages outside Victoria City Hall

Crowd angry with Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion to ban local horse carriage industry

Rifflandia Festival cancelled for 2019

Early Bird tickets can be refunded at point of purchase, or held and redeemed for 2020

Five-month bridge closure poses early impacts on drivers during rush hour

Construction began Tuesday on the crossing commonly known as the Bay Street bridge

Several hundred SD 62 students team up to clean the shoreline

Effort aimed at keeping Esquimalt and Albert Head Lagoon trash-free

New virgin queen headlines ‘Bee Day’ at Saanich sanctuary

Taste bee spit and check out the hive at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary this Sunday

VIDEO: Canadian, U.S. Coast guards run oil spill response drills

20 vessels were on the water to practice international response methods

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Young Victoria distillery earns prestigious Scotch awards

Scottish influences range from techniques to ‘kilted tours’ at award-winning business

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Brewpub offers ‘boat valet’ for paddlers during Surfrider celebration tonight

Free ‘Surf Formal’ evening features a local art auction, door prizes, live music

Most Read