While tempers continue to flare from those stuck in the congestion surrounding Millstream Road, Langford council members are hoping to give drivers some relief this summer.
Council recently gave Ecoasis the green light to proceed with a number of projects, including approving the borrowing of up to $5 million to continue constructing Bear Mountain Parkway and any associated highway improvements. This will see the road connected from the intersection of Leigh and McCallum roads, north to the existing Bear Mountain Parkway.
“I’m glad we’re finally able to get going on it,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young. “That’ll be the last big link up there.”
He noted the City of Langford has received a number of complaints about traffic in the area of Millstream Road and this connection will address some of those concerns. “It just alleviates so much congestion,” he said. “Once it’s done you’ll see an immediate impact.”
It won’t just benefit Bear Mountain residents, but those shopping, travelling through, or accessing services and entertainment in the area. “It’ll help all areas of Langford,” he said. “It hurts business by people not being able to go there.”
While Young admitted the project is “10 years behind the eight-ball,” he said the economy is strong right now, which is why Langford is able to enter into this kind of arrangement. The City will lend the funds to construct the roadway on the promise that the loan will be repaid. “Technically, it doesn’t cost the taxpayers any money,” he said.
While no project timeline has been finalized, Young said “hopefully within the next three months we’ll get it going.” Then, he said, the aim is to have it done within a year.
Langford council members also have their sights set on completing another project on Bear Mountain next year. Construction recently began on one of Canada’s largest indoor/outdoor clay court tennis facilities, supported by Tennis Canada and Tennis B.C. The courts are being built near the North Langford Recreation Centre. However, the new facility will be located in the District of Highlands, where there are no existing sanitary services.
Ecoasis has turned to the City of Langford, requesting the tennis facility be connected to Langford’s sewer system. To do that Langford will have to enter into an inter-municipal servicing agreement with the District of Highlands.
“It’s good we’re seeing a joint project on it,” Young said. “It’s just a great partnership.”
He noted the facility is another feather in Bear Mountain’s cap and a great recreational attraction for the City. While he said tennis can often get overlooked, this is just one more avenue that puts Langford on the national stage.
“All we’re really doing is making sure this thing gets built,” he said. “That’s going to be a great facility.”