Engineering students from the University of Victoria (UVic) recommend Saanich install a set of traffic lights or a roundabout at the intersection of West Saanich Road, Sparton Road (left) and Prospect Lake Road (right) under a partnership between the university and the District. (Google Map)

Saanich partners with UVic to solve real-life engineering problems

Civil engineering students focused on Larchwood corridor near McKenzieAvenue and West Saanich Road

Something new and something old was on the table as University of Victoria engineering students presented their solutions to real-life engineering problems in Saanich.

The eight presentations from third-year civil engineering students focused on the Larchwood corridor near McKenzie Avenue and the intersection at West Saanich Road, Sparton Road and Prospect Lake Road.

Presentations delivered last week at UVic counted towards 40 per cent of students’ grades, and took place before a panel that included Harley Machielse, Saanich’s director of engineering. Kevin Volk, assistant deputy minister with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Christopher Kennedy, chair of UVic’s civil engineering.

“I was very impressed,” said Machielse. The collaboration with UVic has alerted Saanich engineering staff to some “innovative” ideas, while giving students real-life engineering experience, he said.

This year marked the second year of the partnership between Saanich and UVic. Like last year, Saanich asked students to investigate ways to improve the cycling connectivity between Larchwood Drive and Ansell Road across McKenzie Avenue.

Both Larchwood Drive and Ansell Road run north to south. But while Larchwood Drive directly terminates on the northern side of McKenzie Avenue, Ansell Road culminates in a cul-de-sac located just behind the southern side of McKenzie. In other words, it does not directly connect with McKenzie Avenue, the natural link between the two roads.

Like last year, the common element among presentations was the inclusion of a two-way cycle track linking Larchwood and Ansell.

If the first problem covered familiar terrain in an urban area, the second problem addressed an uncontrolled intersection in rural Saanich near Prospect Lake.

The intersection at West Saanich Road, Sparton Road and Prospect Lake Road has been the source of much community concern because it needs to accommodate a wide range of users: drivers, cyclists, pedestrians (including school children) and equestrians using a nearby trail.

Pending council’s approval, Saanich plans to improve the intersection, and the work of the students will be beneficial.

“They came up with some great creative designs that will help us with our design process,” said Machielse.

Students identified two broad solutions. The first calls for a full set of traffic signals, whereas the other recommends a roundabout.

Both solutions would result in a “substantial cost,” said Machielse.

“There are so many different elements than the signals themselves,” he said. They include, among others, the alignment of the roads themselves, gutters and storm-sewers, he said.

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

Just Posted

Sooke marine search and rescue cast their nets for volunteers

Non-profit looking for crew and society members

West Shore man sentenced to four and a half years for sexually abusing foster daughter

Abuse took place over a three year period while daughter was between ages of 13 to 15

Three years for serial bank robber who hit Sidney branch

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Sidney, Abbotsford and Vancouver

Cook Street Village grocery icon closing, new owners plan major renovation

Louie family has operated Oxford Foods and predecessor for five decades at Cook and Oxford streets

WorkSafeBC investigating death at Victoria Customs House construction site

Prevention officer will ensure all safety issues addressed before work starts again

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island”

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Island RCMP remind drivers not to text after 19 tickets handed out in 90 minutes

The $368 fines were handed out Tuesday on Norwell Drive and Old Island Highway in Nanaimo

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Sooke Philharmonic introduces new quartet

SPO presents first online concert Oct. 5

Most Read