Sound walls, excavation still to go as McKenzie Interchange passes halfway mark

Video: Drone footage over the McKenzie interchange project

The $85 million McKenzie interchange is past the halfway mark and while it’s only about a year away from completion, there are still a few major hurdles to pass before commuters can get excited.

With about 85,000 cars passing through the Trans Canada Highway intersection with McKenzie-Admirals each day, the ongoing traffic delays due to construction will continue.

Janelle Staite is leading the project as the regional deputy director with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. She took time to meet media on Friday morning for an update.

Traffic delays reached an unofficial peak in June when the ministry adjusted light sequencing to improve the flow and reduce the heavy delays.

The next big change in traffic flow won’t come until November, Staite said. At that time traffic lanes will be altered as the excavation for the new lowered highway continues.

Most of the current delays are during nightly blasting.

The blasting will continue between 8 and 10 p.m. as the new highway is lowered seven meters, Staite said.

“We don’t know how much blasting we’ll need to do as we find more rock.”

Aside from the overall setback of the heavy winter rain in 2016-17, which pushed the project back about six months into mid- to late- 2019, things are on track. The Galloping Goose McKenzie overpass is complete while the temporary pedestrian overpass between Portage Road and Marigold/Spectrum schools will be upgraded to a permanent overpass in 2019. And soon-to-be installed green sound walls are sitting in piles along the side of the highway just north of the temporary overpass with the frames for some of the sound walls already erected.

The green noise walls will typically be three metres high and made of concrete and walls will be placed on MOTI right-of-way. Noise mitigation is also anticipated by having a raised Galloping Goose trail and by lowering the highway below the interchange. The project also includes rapid transit facilities for the future, as well as “shoulder lane and queue jumper priority lanes at ramp intersections that allow buses to bypass queues,” says the project website.

The highway is identified as a future rapid transit corridor between the West Shore, downtown Victoria and the University of Victoria. Construction of a priority bus lane is currently underway along Douglas/TCH from Tolmie to the Burnside Bridge (just west of Tillicum/TCH intersection) but will end there, though will benefit from the new priority pullout at the McKenzie interchange.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

Four presentations on the medical properties of cannabis for seniors come to Victoria

Rickter Scale: California Dreaming with Steve Shutt

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column in the Goldstream News Gazette

Victoria gears up to axe free parking on Sundays

Council vote puts Sunday parking fees towards bus passes for youth

Oak Bay one step closer to deer immunocontraceptive test

Up to 80 deer could be given ‘birth control’ vaccine in the fall

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could say the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Nanaimo edges Royal Bay by one point to win Vancouver Island AAA girls basketball title

Nanaimo District Secondary School wins first AAA girls’ Island title in 29 years

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

Most Read