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

Tsunami warning an ‘exercise in precaution’

Warning for Greater Victoria called off shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday

Sirens don’t sing in tsunami warning for Esquimalt

Officials pleased with process, say sirens would have been activated had threat escalated.

Support growing for palliative care facility on the West Shore

Dave Saunders says facilities ‘bursting at the seams’

Royal Bay student bound for Swaziland

World College admission brings surprise destination

UPDATE: Tsunami warning ended for Greater Victoria

Homes in Colwood near Esquimalt Lagoon were evacuated after tsunami warning for coastal areas of B.C. after 7.9 earthquake off Alaskan coast

WATCH: Greater Victoria residents gather at higher ground during tsunami warning

Ocean Boulevard and the Esquimalt Lagoon reopened shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday

‘The tsunami alarm failed my household’: North Coast residents concerned over sirens, alerts

People living in northern communities share how they learned about Tuesday’s tsunami warning

Snowboarder dies at Vancouver Island ski resort

Death at Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Tsunami warning prompts evacuations in Port Alberni

Alaska earthquake prompted warning for coastal BC

Most Read