File photo

Province opens bid for Douglas Street bus lanes

Northbound lanes could cost $12.75-million

A dedicated bus lane through Saanich could be up and running as early as next fall.

The provincial government opened bidding Tuesday to extend an existing dedicated bus lane along Douglas Street (Trans-Canada Highway) from Tolmie Avenue to Burnside Ridge, the portion where the road crosses Interurban Road and Burnside Road.

“Reliable, affordable public transit is key to getting people moving with greater ease in the CRD,” said Rob Fleming, local MLA and minister of education.

Available figures estimate the project will cost $12.75 million. The provincial government’s share amounts to $8.1 million, while the federal government will cover the remaining $4.6 million under the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

Janelle Erwin, regional deputy director with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, said construction of the 2.2-kilometre-long lane is slated to start in early 2018, wrapping up in the fall of 2018.

Erwin said the traffic management plan for the project is the same as the traffic management for the McKenzie interchange project.

It requires the winning bidder to keep all lanes open to the travelling public during peak periods, she said. “There will be delays outside the peak periods.”

While the new lane will run through the municipal boundaries of Saanich, the district will not have any approval authority over the project, as the ministry will build on its own land, said Erwin. The project therefore differs from the highway berm that the ministry is currently building as part of the McKenzie interchange project, as the berm encroaches on Saanich-leased land. This said, ministry staff have actively consulted with Saanich staff, said Erwin.

Erwin also confirmed that the ministry will not hold any open houses or other forums to inform the public about the project. Concerned residents, however, can always contact the ministry.

The City of Victoria later this month will close the bidding for southbound bus and bikes lanes from Tolmie to Hillside Avenues.

The bid for the dedicated bus lane running through Saanich will likely be the first of comparable requests for tender. The Victoria Regional Transit Commission, City of Colwood and the Town of View Royal are also considering bus lanes from Goldstream Avenue to the Trans-Canada Highway on-ramp.

Just Posted

Greater Victoria’s living wage now costs $20.50 an hour

Cost of living increase drives region’s living wage up 49 cents, leaving you able to afford only one latte per year

Saanich man arrested in cross-border drug smuggling operation

William Milton Barnes of Greater Victoria faces multiple charges following six-month investigation

Victoria Shamrocks acquire NLL and MSL all-star

Rob Hellyer brings offensive power to the Shamrocks

Two Oak Bay officers recognized at 10th anniversary of anti-impaired driving program

Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members in 2008 to the current 2,400

West Shore resident receives B.C. Community Achievement Award

Kevin Albers fell into building affordable housing and hasn’t looked back

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

Former Social Credit MLA dies at 88

Lyall Hanson was mayor of Vernon in 1981 and moved to provincial politics from 1986-96

Police searching for escaped prisoner in B.C.

Ralph Whitfield Morris, 83, is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder

B.C. set to introduce pot laws, but years of fine tuning likely: minister

Legislation regulating recreational marijuana is expected to be introduced Thursday

Arrests made after truck crashes into unmarked police cars in Nanaimo

Two men facing numerous charges after allegedly fleeing scene on the mid-island

Canadian driver uses lawn chair as driver’s seat, gets caught

Ontario police detachment caught the male driver during a traffic stop

B.C. moves to restrict pill presses in opioid battle

Minister Mike Farnworth says federal law doesn’t go far enough

VIDEO: Vets, volunteers set up vaccination station for sick bunnies

Volunteers, vets try to stop spread of lethal virus

If you see a dog in a hot car, don’t break in: SPCA

People are being discouraged from smashing windows to free animals. The SPCA has tips on what else you can do.

Most Read