B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) says incomplete drainage work is behind early morning flooding that closed lanes beneath the McKenzie interchange project Tuesday morning.
The highway, recently opened to free-flowing traffic, was reduced to single lanes in both directions after water pooled overnight. Pump trucks were brought in to remove the water and the southbound lane was re-opened by 7:45 a.m.
MOTI reminds drivers that the McKenzie interchange remains an active construction site and many elements of the project are not yet completed – including drainage work.
“Due to the staged nature of the project, it was necessary to move traffic to the new alignment prior to finalizing drainage work,” MOTI says. “Temporary drainage measures were put in place, including pumps and ditches.”
The province says heavy rains in the two days before the closures overwhelmed the temporary drainage measures the contractor had in place.
“Until permanent drainage is constructed, the ministry has directed the contractor to ensure proper measures are in place to ensure rainwater is draining effectively.”
The $96-million McKenzie interchange project began in September 2016 and is expected to be completed by summer 2020. Located in Saanich at Admirals Road and McKenzie Avenue, the project will include a loop ramp, landscaping and transit facilities. Once the biggest bottleneck on Vancouver Island, the project is projected to improve traffic flow, reduce collisions and improve pedestrian and cyclist safety through the area.
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