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Year-long project adding bus lanes to Highway 1 bridges in Greater Victoria

Colquitz Creek bridges widening provides better connection to and from downtown, province says
The bridges running over the Burnside Road section along Colquitz Creek will see more than a year of construction as bus lanes are added in each direction. (Courtesy of Google Streetview)

Trans-Canada Highway travellers could see construction begin this summer as bus lanes are being added to two bridges in Saanich.

The existing two-lane Highway 1 bridges that run above the Burnside Road section along Colquitz Creek will be widened and seismically retrofitted to add bus lanes in each direction. The project is expected to start in the summer and run until the fall of 2025.

About two-thirds of the $35.5-million project will be funded by the province while a contribution from the federal government makes up the rest.

The work aims to connect and extend the bus lanes in both directions from Tillicum Road to the McKenzie Interchange.

“The changes remove a key pinch point by creating a continuous transit corridor between downtown Victoria and the McKenzie interchange, reducing traffic congestion and improving service reliability,” the province said in a Friday (March 15) news release.

“We know this area is only getting busier and it’s crucial we have a strong transportation network that people can count on to get to and from their work, homes and families between downtown and the West Shore,” said B.C.’s Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said in the release.

“This project is another step toward improving our climate resiliency and making our infrastructure sustainable long into the future.”

Highway 1 and Burnside Road West will remain open during construction, with lane closures limited to off-peak hours, the province said. No bus service changes are planned during the project.

The work also looks to support sensitive Colquitz Creek habitats by adding a drainage system with a rain garden and sediment catch basin that will filter roadway runoff and improve water quality in the creek.

“Widening the Colquitz River bridges will make for a more reliable, efficient commute for south Islanders while protecting local waterways and ecosystems,” North Vancouver MP and federal cabinet minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in the release. “We will continue investing in public transit infrastructure that makes it easier for residents to navigate their communities and that contributes to a greener future.”

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce added that transit is vital to the region and the project will make bus commuting in and out of the downtown core more convenient.

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Jake Romphf

About the Author: Jake Romphf

In early 2021, I made the move from the Great Lakes to Greater Victoria with the aim of experiencing more of the country I report on.
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