If all goes well the Goldstream Avenue and Leigh Road realignment and signalization project should be completed just before school starts.
In fact, the goal is to have the newly designed intersection fully operational two weeks prior to the first day of school, so motorists in the area can get accustomed to the new traffic pattern.
“It was a really big juggling act,” said Michelle Mahovlich, Langford’s director of engineering. “We’ve had a lot going on.”
The intersection is home to a number of underground and overhead utilities, some of which had to be relocated for the project. Along with the realignment and the addition of left turn lanes in all directions came the permanent closure of Donna Avenue at Leigh Road, due to its proximity to the intersection. A new connection has been made between Donna Avenue and Hartsdale Drive allowing vehicle access to Goldstream Avenue.
With all of that done and finishing touches being made to the landscaping, crews are working hard to make sure the project is completed by the week of Aug. 22. Signal lights were installed last week and final paving is tentatively scheduled to start today (Aug. 17) and continue until Friday. Line painting is also scheduled to take place Friday night. The paving and painting work are weather permitting.
The hope is the lights will flash red for the weekend, indicating four-way stop procedures, and be fully activated Monday (Aug. 22) after the morning rush.
The project cost roughly $1 million, which Mahovlich characterized as “relatively expensive.”
Meanwhile, crews are also working on extending Leigh Road south from Dunford Avenue through the former unopened road allowance to Henry Eng Place. Westhills Land Corp. is paying for this project as part of their rezoning commitments to the city.
“We anticipate it will open by Aug. 22,” Mahovlich said.
Not only will this divert some of the traffic from Henry Eng Place directly down Leigh Road, she noted that road improvements such as street lighting and a paved walking trail give students and others in the area better access to services.
“They’ll have the trail all the way down Leigh,” she said, adding that students sometimes walk down Leigh Road to get to City Centre Park or the new Y facility.
Pedestrians will also have a new flashing cross walk at Leigh Place for those wishing to head to Langford Lake Beach Park or just continue on the other side of Leigh Road.
The City has no immediate plans to extend Leigh Road across the railway tracks, Mahovlich said, as the focus is on the West Shore Parkway crossing.
Langford has recently heard from residents on that ongoing road extension project, with most voicing concerns about traffic delays stemming from work being done on the Trans-Canada Highway at West Shore Parkway. Mahovlich noted they have a number of cameras in the area and are monitoring the situation closely, but most of the delays appear to be caused by volume.
Crews are instructed to be clear of the intersection by 3 p.m. so as to not disrupt the evening commute, she said, and some work is also being done at night to help limit the disruption.
Work on the TCH, which features the construction of dual left turn lanes onto West Shore Parkway, has a tentative Oct. 5 deadline, but rainy weather and other factors may affect the completion date.
Crews are also pre-clearing, grubbing and blasting in the same area for when the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure widens the TCH, which will likely happen next year.
Mahovlich noted that all of the completion dates are the city’s best estimates and are subject to change. But, she added, the city does its best to complete projects earlier than anticipated.