The dipping Canadian dollar isn’t just impacting those West Shore residents wishing to fly south for the winter.
The City of Langford is facing a hefty bill, caused in part, by the staggering difference between the Canadian and American dollars.
The City will eventually require rail signal arms for its West Shore Parkway and Leigh Road extension projects. According to Michelle Mahovlich, Langford’s director of engineering, those can only be purchased from one location in the United States, which also means they must be purchased in US dollars.
She said the cost to install the necessary rail arm infrastructure at the West Shore Parkway crossing alone is estimated to cost $750,000.
But back in January, when the dollar looked to be declining significantly, the City put funds in its US bank account.
At that time, Mahovlich said it cost $370,000 to buy US$250,000, which is the amount for the required downpayment.
In addition to buying the rail arms, she said power to the railway needs to be extended and other infrastructure, such as the holds needed to keep the rail arms in place, needs to be installed. All of that is also contributing to the $750,000 cost.
The City is anticipating a similar cost for the eventual railway track crossing when Leigh Road is extended to meet Langford Parkway.
The rail signal arms also take about a year to receive once the City has ordered them.