The City of Langford is gearing up to take on the Leigh Road and Goldstream Avenue intersection.
“We will be realigning the intersection and signalizing it,” said Langford’s director of engineering Michelle Mahovlich, noting that some work is already underway.
While it may sound simple, it’s not. “It’s a bit of a juggling act,” she said.
That intersection is home to a number of existing underground and overhead utilities, including two large watermains, hydro ducts, sanitary sewer mains and numerous overhead service wires.
“It’s not an easy switch,” she said. “We just have to design around them.” She noted the amenities in the area, such as sidewalks and bike lanes, will also remain, with some adjustments to fit the new design of the intersection. The intersection will also include left turn lanes in all directions.
“The cost is not an insignificant one,” Mahovlich said, adding the estimate for the project is approximately $1 million.
With some investigative work done between Christmas and New Year’s to confirm the exact locations of some utilities, Mahovlich said they are ready to begin relocating utility poles.
She anticipates BC Hydro will be the first on site to begin moving their poles and lines, with that work estimated to begin in the next two to four weeks.
With the utility poles being re-adjusted, the various service providers will also have to adjust their own lines without or with minimal interruption to their services.
Mahovlich noted the City is trying to do all of this work in the least disruptive way possible to traffic. The strategy could include some night work, a situation for which the noise factor is being taken into consideration for neighbouring residents.
With this realignment also comes the permanent closure of Donna Avenue at Leigh Road, due to its proximity to the intersection. A new connection will be made between Donna and Hartsdale Drive, allowing vehicle access to Goldstream Avenue. Mahovlich noted that permanent connection will be established well before the closure, to get traffic flowing through the new route.
Any residents impacted by these changes have been notified by the City.
“There’s a lot of different pieces in the schedule,” she said. “It’s kind of a domino effect.”
With construction scheduled to be completed by the end of August, just in time for the new school year, Mahovlich hopes that estimate is a conservative one. “We don’t want to make a promise we can’t keep,” she said, adding the traffic signals alone could take eight weeks to arrive.
The City also considered turning the intersection into a roundabout. But after a study completed with ICBC Traffic Safety engineers, it was determined a roundabout would not be suitable in this location. Due to the uneven traffic flow, which is predominantly north/south on Leigh Road, and the land required to make the roundabout two lanes wide to accommodate truck traffic traveling through the area, Mahovlich said it just wouldn’t work.
“It would just make it very complicated.”
Another project being done to improve traffic flow through Langford is the McCallum Road extension, which will see traffic connected between Millstream and Leigh roads. Mahovlich said work should be completed by spring break if the weather co-operates.