What began as a plan a dozen or so years ago took major strides toward completion last week with the announcement that the West Shore Parkway extension between the Trans-Canada Highway and Sooke Road is moving forward.
The project has been a part of Langford’s master transportation plan, an Official Community Plan review and the Capital Regional District’s regional transportation strategy through the process, said Michelle Mahovlich, the City’s director of engineering.
It was also on the radar during the original rezoning for Westhills, she added.
“We are looking forward to making one of the last major connections through the city,” she said. “Our mayor, council and staff have worked very hard throughout this process. It’s good news for traffic flow; it will create a lot of jobs in our community and we’re excited it’s moving ahead.”
The $22.5-million project, a partnership between the federal and provincial governments and the City of Langford, involves connecting Highway 1 to Highway 14 with a 3.5-kilometre stretch of two lanes, with the integration of a middle turning lane where required. Other aspects of the roadway include bike lanes on both sides, sidewalks in residential areas, street lights, transit stops, boulevard medians and the installation of sewer and storm-water infrastructure.
Combined with the announcement of the construction of an interchange at the intersection of McKenzie Avenue and Admirals Road at the Trans Canada Highway, the two upgrades should go a long way toward addressing commuter concerns and improving the flow of traffic and safety between Victoria and Langford, one of the fastest-growing communities in Canada, as well as up-Island.
The grant also includes a dual left-turn lane on the Trans Canada for northbound traffic turning left onto West Shore Parkway.
While no rail service is currently using the old E&N tracks in the area, which run next to Langford Lake and the Kettle Creek neighbourhood, a level crossing will be created for the new road, much like those already in place on Station Avenue, Peatt Road and Veteran’s Memorial Parkway in Langford.
The City’s one-third share of the project costs, roughly $7.5 million, will be covered through its road cost development charge program. The municipality is managing all aspects of the project and will own the majority of roadways, with the Ministry of Transportation providing input to redevelop the intersections at both Sooke Road and the Trans Canada Highway.
“We will be tendering some design and the construction and some of the remaining detail design,” Mahovlich noted.
The construction schedule, which was submitted with Langford’s grant application, calls for the work to be completed by the end of 2017 or early 2018, she said. “The city plans on expediting that timeline as much as possible.”