Traffic improvements such as the McKenzie Interchange at the Trans Canada Highway are part of an ongoing plan for regional transportation upgrades to minimize traffic congestion. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

Traffic improvements such as the McKenzie Interchange at the Trans Canada Highway are part of an ongoing plan for regional transportation upgrades to minimize traffic congestion. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

McKenzie interchange project sees delays

Weather delays, plan modifications cause extended timeline

Construction of the McKenzie interchange will continue into 2020, well past its original target date of fall 2018.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced that due to unforeseen circumstances, the project will need more time to complete.

“During construction this past winter, crews encountered significant weather events on the South Island, including heavy snowfall,” the ministry said in a release. “Recently, the ministry also discovered highly variable rock while digging under the existing intersection. As a result of the discovery, modifications were made to the overall design of the interchange’s new centre pier.”

ALSO READ: McKenzie Interchange pump failure sends contaminated water into Colquitz River

Construction schedules have also been adjusted to lessen traffic and noise.

So far, the second and final construction contract for the project is 50 per cent complete. Currently, workers are focusing on building the overpass over the Trans-Canada Highway. The ministry estimates that upon completion, this project could save commuters travelling between the West Shore and downtown communities approximately 20 minutes.

ALSO READ: McKenzie interchange construction delayed into summer 2019

By this winter, the traffic lights on Highway 1 should be removed, and the entire project including the loop ramp, landscaping and transit facilities is expected to be completed by the summer of 2020.

The $85 million project has already been delayed In 2017, the ministry announced a new expected completion date of summer 2019, delayed from an initial fall 2018 target date, citing similar weather problems which delayed the settling of fill material such as rock, dirt and gravel.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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