Months after Island Highway in View Royal is re-opened to regular vehicle traffic, cycling lanes will remain obstructed by utility poles.
Installing hydro, telecommunication and cable lines underground was expected to be complete in December, but now that work may not be finished until June at the latest.
That won’t stop the road from being re-opened, but it will mean lanes will be very narrow in places. Some of the poles will be up to a metre from the new curb, blocking what would be the cycling lane.
Coun. John Rogers suggested the town post signs advising cyclists the road is unsafe for their use. But Coun. Andrew Britton, who frequently rides his bike along the Island Highway, pointed out that cyclists are free to use the full lane.
“A major part of this project was to encourage cycling along that corridor,” Britton said. “We don’t want to turn riders away from it.”
Project engineer Russ Irish of McElhanney Consulting has been liaising between View Royal and the contractors working on the Island Highway Improvement Project. He gave council an updated timeline for the project at a Tuesday meeting.
The $7.4-million project was slated for full completion by April 1. But Irish said roadwork will stretch to April 11, after which date regular two-way vehicle traffic will be possible throughout the work zone.
However many aspects of the project will continue past that date, including work on the rain gardens, installing traffic signals, pole removal and the final road paving.
“We’ve expedited the critical path work to get the road open for vehicles,” Irish said. “There may be temporary detours or traffic delays until work is fully complete, but these interruptions should be minor.”
When pressed by council, Irish was unable to provide a date when he expected all aspects of the project to be fully complete.
For updates in the Island Highway Improvement Project, visit islandhighwayproject.wordpress.com.