The Highway 1 off ramp to Leigh Road is set to open at the end of the month, but the City of Langford has its eye on improving traffic flow in the entire area.
“We’re going to be very busy over the next two years,” Michelle Mahovlich, Langford director of engineering, said of the City’s upcoming projects. “They’re all on our major thoroughfares … It’ll be nice to have a few more north-south connections.”
The first of those projects set to be completed is the Leigh Road interchange project. Thanks to co-operative weather early last week, paving of the southbound off-ramp was completed, leaving the installation of barriers on either side as the only work remaining. A traffic signal to be installed at the ramp’s intersection with Leigh Road will be activated when the ramp is opened officially on Nov. 28 at 2 p.m.
“As soon as we open that ramp the Goldstream exit will be closed simultaneously,” Mahovlich said. The Spencer Road access to the Trans-Canada Highway was closed as part of the project last summer.
With the Goldstream Avenue access closed, crews will begin construction in December on an acceleration lane from West Shore Parkway onto the TCH.
“They’ll finish it in early 2016,” Mahovlich said, adding that the extended timeline is due to some expected delays caused by asphalt plants shutting down for about a month over the holidays for maintenance work. She noted that rain and a required minimum temperature could also cause delays in any paving jobs.
Crews are also nearing completion on safety improvements to McCallum Road from Florence Lake Road to Springboard Place, with hydro poles scheduled to be relocated this month and next.
But if you’ve been in the area you have probably noticed crews working on the extension, or completion, of McCallum Road from Cavalcade Terrace to Florence Lake Road. Hydro work is expected to be completed in this area early next year and once that work is completed, curbs, sidewalks and road paving can be finished connecting traffic between the Millstream and Leigh Road interchanges.
“We’re hoping to open spring 2016,” Mahovlich said. “Once this is open it will make a big difference.”
In the meantime there is a temporary, one-way access, open to connect traffic from McCallum Road to Florence Lake Road via Citation Road, which is meant to be an emergency access only. This emergency access road is only open from 10 a.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday for the months of November and December. But it is only open one-way for traffic traveling from McCallum Road to Florence Lake Road.
Also on the City’s radar is connecting the Bear Mountain area down Skirt Mountain to the Leigh Road interchange. Like the Leigh Road interchange project (with the exception of the final off-ramp), that connection would be developer-funded, not paid for by taxpayers.
“It is definitely something that council has an interest in building out,” said Mahovlich, adding that no formal plans are in palce at this time.
However, Dan Matthews, [resident and CEO of Bear Mountain owner Ecoasis, told the Gazette recently that there has been movement toward planning out such a road project.
“That’s our front door,” Matthews said. “When we acquired Bear Mountain, we bought it on the assumption of putting the dollars aside for that.”
He said the ownership of the land in between Bear Mountain and the TCH end of Leigh Road has been unsettled, but is now more settled, to the point where the company’s meetings relating to the road connection are happening far more frequently.
“I am extremely hopeful that we will have some definitive announcements about it sometime in 2016.”
The City also has plans for improvements at the south end of Leigh Road. Mahovlich said the Westhills Land Corp. will undertake this work in 2016 as part of its development agreement with the City.
These improvements will see Leigh Road connected to Langford Parkway and will allow commercial traffic from Henry Eng Place to access Leigh Road directly, instead of travelling on Dunford Avenue.
Mahovlich noted there have already been some delays on that project due to the road base still settling. And there could be further delays, as the City is still determining if rail arms will be needed at track crossings. Delivery of the units takes about a year from the time they are ordered, Mahovlich said.
A detailed plan is also being formulated to install a traffic light at the Leigh Road and Goldstream Avenue intersection. The expectation is that staff will bring the proposal forward for council approval sometime next year, with the possibility of installation as well in 2016.
Possibly the largest road-related project in the works for Langford is the completion of West Shore Parkway, for which the funding was announced last summer.
While a number of contracts have already been awarded for different segments of the project, Mahovlich said the bulk of construction will not begin until spring 2016 and “will extend into 2018.”
This project will see 3.2 kilometres of road constructed, connecting it from the current intersection at the TCH to Sooke Road at Awsworth Road. A portion of this project will also include the installation of dual left turn lanes on the TCH for traffic turning onto West Shore Parkway.
This project is estimated to cost $22.5 million and is funded by one third each from the federal and provincial governments. The final third is from the City of Langford’s Road Development Cost Charge program, which is developer funded.
Also of note, the sewage line extension taking place along Goldstream Avenue is in the final stages of the project and should be finishing up over the course of the next few weeks. “They’ll pave it before Christmas,” she said.
General questions or comments regarding anything road-related in Langford can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
– with files from Don Descoteau