Work on the Millstream Road overpass that will help alleviate the Costco crush is set to begin early next year.
Michelle Mahovlich, Langford’s director of engineering, said the construction of an additional southbound left-turn lane for the Trans-Canada Highway will proceed in February of next year, with the intention of having it completed before the long weekend in May.
The additional lane, which is currently behind concrete barriers, was anticipated when the overpass was built in 2000, but not completed because of budgetary constraints at that time.
“We are going to be doing work in the day and night to expedite the process,” Mahovlich said. “There will be lots of signage and traffic control in place, and no closure of lanes during peak hours.”
Nanaimo-based Windley Contracting was awarded the contract for the work which was put to tender for a second time in September.
The project was originally tendered in May but the only bid at that time was rougly 25 per cent – $200,000 – over budget, in part due to the heavy demand for construction and the volume of projects underway on Vancouver Island.
The work includes the addition of two metre-wide bike lanes in both directions linking to existing bike lanes on Millstream Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway.
Sections of sidewalk missing on the east side of the bridge in the direction of north-bound traffic will be completed as well.
Signal improvements include pedestrian crossing capabilities on the northbound off-ramp and a signalized left turn lane for vehicles on the bridge ramp travelling north to Nanaimo.
In addition, a pedestrian/cyclist crossing location northbound to cross the southbound on-ramp for those travelling north on Veterans Memorial Parkway to head southbound on the Trans-Canada Highway will be added.
That’s all in addition to the creation of the second left-turn lane, while maintaining two through lanes south on the overpass toward Veterans Memorial Parkway, and a dedicated right-turn lane southbound to Peatt Road.
“We’re really looking forward to getting the work completed because it will make a significant difference in traffic in the area,” Mahovlich noted. She also wanted to remind drivers, especially those heading to Costco from Victoria, that they can use exit 15 on the Trans-Canada Highway, the first one heading north after Millstream Road, as a convenient alternate route to that area.
In that neighbourhood, work is also continuing on the completion of the Bear Mountain Parkway project.
That 3.3 kilometre stretch of roadway runs from the intersection of Leigh and McCallum roads up Skirt Mountain to connect with the existing roadway at the Country Club Way roundabout.
However, changing weather conditions, especially with regards to paving work, make the completion date difficult to estimate at this time, Mahovlich said.
The project was originally estimated to be completed before the end of the year if crews were able to complete all of the weather-dependent work.