View Royal engineering director Emmet McCusker stands next to a utility pole protruding into the widened roadway on Island Highway. The poles make the road unsafe for cyclists and the Town expects a few more months of work until the utilities are underground.

Island Highway roadwork finish delayed

  • Feb. 14, 2011 1:00 p.m.

Bike lanes, two-way traffic not expected until late spring

Work on the Island Highway Improvement Project is two months behind schedule, but there’s some relief coming to the congested commuter route.

Originally slated for completion by the end of March, roadwork is now expected to last until late May or early June. But delays are expected to ease after April. The worksite will be smaller and alternating traffic will begin at 8 a.m. rather than 6:30 a.m. Crews will continue to clear the street for two-way traffic by 3 p.m.

View Royal director of engineering Emmet McCusker said the delay was caused by unforeseen problems installing the utilities underground.

To widen the road, utility poles need to come out and be replaced by underground connections. The contractor had expected to have utility ducts in the ground by mid-December, but it took until this month to complete the installation.

While roadwork will be otherwise complete in April, road closures will still be needed while underground conversions are completed. BC Hydro has agreed to send an additional crew from Nanaimo to begin work this month, at the same time as Shaw Cable. Telus has said its work will take 13 weeks, but it hasn’t confirmed it will work concurrently with the other utilities.

“We’re hoping Telus will agree to come in earlier as well,” McCusker said. “As soon as the poles are out, we’ll be able to wrap up the roadwork fast — in a matter of weeks.”

In the meantime, the final road paving and line painting has to wait. In addition to the delay, some councillors are also concerned about safety on the road.

Near the E&N trestle, poles are as far as a metre out from the new curb, causing the lanes to be quite narrow in that section. This is of particular concern for cyclists.

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.”

Besides widening the road to allow a centre turn lane, and bicycle lanes, the $7.4-million project includes installing a stormwater drainage system through Portage Park. Casino revenue is funding an artistic rock wall along the north side of the street.

A federal grant for the project was extended until July 31.

For updates, see

Just Posted

The shores will not rock in 2019

Atomique Productions announce Rock the Shores festival will not return in 2019, future is uncertain

Video shows logging operation on disputed Saturna Island land

Tsawout First Nation members opposed to logging on reserve land

Family still searching for missing Langford man two weeks after disappearance

Family hopeful he is alive, offering $10,000 reward

Victoria police concerned about missing man’s well-being

Delmer was reported missing on March 19

Fracking, economy, climate at centre of Green Party town hall in Metchosin

Green Party leader Elizabeth May and local candidate David Merner take questions from community

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read