The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Langford Mayor Stew Young are happy with the progress of the West Shore Parkway extension, which will connect the Trans-Canada Highway with Highway 14. (Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff)

Federal minister views West Shore Parkway progress in Langford

Project linking two highways nearing completion

Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff

Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi got a good close look at how the money invested in the Westshore Parkway project is being spent. Sohi joined Langford Mayor Stew Young and members of council at the site of the new 3.5 kilometre stretch of the parkway, which will connect the Trans-Canada Highway with Highway 14, commonly referred to as Sooke Road.

Although he has visited family in Nanaimo in the past, this marked Sohi’s first official visit to the region and his first look at Langford. “Our government sees local decision-making as key regarding investment decisions,” he said. “Mayors and councils are more connected to the needs of their communities.”

Sohi said he was also looking forward to working with his provincial counterparts to create investment and employment opportunities.

“Projects like this not only create jobs, but also other opportunities,” he noted. “Infrastructure is a catalyst for growth and economic opportunities. That’s exactly what this parkway connecting two highways is about.”

B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena said in a statement that the project will benefit all travellers, and in particular those who live or work in Sooke and the West Shore by increasing capacity and providing another connection between the communities. She noted that projects of this nature are made possible through collaboration with partners, and is looking forward to its completion.

Young said he was impressed with the fact that the federal minister came to Langford from Ottawa to see the parkway project firsthand, and how infrastructure funds are being invested. “It’s exciting for the people in our community because this project is creating jobs and will spur investment and improve the lifestyle for our residents,” Young said. “We really appreciate the investment the federal government has made in our community.”

The total cost of the complete Westshore Parkway project, which will include bike lanes, sidewalks and transit stops, is $22,352,570. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of this year.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

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