A statement from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says the McKenzie Interchange Project (here shown in a drone photo from the summer of 2018) will lead “significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions” once completed. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure photo)

Province rejects criticism from Saanich councillor over McKenzie Interchange

Transportation ministry says project will ‘significantly lower’ greenhouse gas emissions

The provincial government is defending the McKenzie Interchange Project against the recent criticism from a Saanich councillor.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said in a statement that the McKenzie Interchange will reduce congestion and provide substantial travel time savings, once completed.

The statement said later that the project once completed will reduce idling and fuel consumption at the intersection, “leading to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions.”

RELATED: Saanich councillor slams McKenzie Interchange Project

The ministry issued the statement after Coun. Judy Brownoff questioned the McKenzie Interchange Project during a recent council meeting.

Brownoff said both the provincial and federal government need to do more around transportation and buildings to help reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) responsible for climate change. “They have to be more engaged around those high priority areas,” she said. It was within this context that Brownoff criticized the project.

“For instance, investing over $80 million on a new interchange, which will create more greenhouse gases, instead of investing it into public transit,” she said.

The statement from the ministry echoes the official claim that “project will help improve traffic flow in the Capital Regional District, while reducing collisions and improving pedestrian and cyclist safety” as experts deem the intersection the “number one bottleneck” on Vancouver Island, a point supported by traffic flow numbers, as well as motor vehicle collisions.

The ministry’s statement notes that separating the Galloping Goose Trail from McKenzie Avenue has already improved safety for cyclists and is encouraging more commuters to try cycling. while the addition of dedicated bus lanes within the interchange project will further improve travel times and reliability for those commuting by transit.

But the project has also received criticism from environmentalists concerned about its impact on nearby Colquitz Creek and concerns about its final price tag are growing after the provincial government confirmed that the project has exceeded its budget by $11 million.

Finally, the project has gone well beyond its original completion date of fall 2018 with completion now scheduled for summer 2020.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Three protesters arrested after blocking driveway at Premier John Horgan’s Langford home

Protestors claimed they would make a citizen’s arrest of the Premier, according to West Shore RCMP

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5 million for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

Victoria budtenders become first private cannabis workers to unionize in Canada

Two of seven Clarity Cannabis storefronts vote to join UFCW 1518 union

Victoria police ask victims of human trafficking to come forward in light of recent arrests

Four people from Vancouver Island were arrested in Saskatchewan on Jan. 28

2020 Budget: ICBC ‘dumpster fire’ to turn into $86M surplus, NDP say

ICBC operating with $91-million deficit for 2019-2020 fiscal year

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

Budget 2020: B.C. adds tax to sweet drinks and sodas

All soda, vending machine drinks will be subject to higher PST

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Ten poisoned eagles rushed to veterinary hospital in Nanaimo

Eagles stricken after eating flesh of euthanized animal at Nanaimo Regional Landfill

Budget 2020: B.C. NDP taps top tax bracket for more revenue

Minimum wage set to pass $15 an hour by 2021

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Most Read