Commuters were anticipating a smoother commute with the expected opening this morning of the new road connecting Victoria West to the Johnson Street Bridge.
The new road on West Side of Johnson Street Bridge, from the intersection of Esquimalt and Harbour Roads, was set to open before the morning rush.
The move will create more usable space for the contractor during construction and will minimize future impacts to motorists, the city says. The new road will eventually connect with the new bridge.
Mayor Dean Fortin was pleased to see the road opening to commuters ahead of schedule.
“We’re excited to see it open earlier than originally anticipated. It will make it easier for drivers right now and as we go through the construction process, and it will make it easier for (construction crews),” Fortin said.
The new route should help alleviate some of the congestion that has arisen through construction and will offer a greater sense of the final vision in terms of greenspace and public areas, he said.
The new approach to the bridge includes a temporary sidewalk and an extension of the cycling lanes on Esquimalt Road. The road remains single-lane traffic in both directions and the area is an active construction zone with a posted speed limit of 30 km/h.
The E&N Trail connection at Kimta Road will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists with the existing pathway to the south side of the bridge maintained. Harbour Road will remain closed to vehicles at Esquimalt Road as work continues at the intersection until mid-November.
Pedestrian and cycling access will be maintained on Harbour Road.
In mid-November, a new two-way extension of Harbour Road south of Esquimalt Road will open, providing access to the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort and future waterfront green space. In 2016, public land on the south side of the bridge will be consolidated to create more than two acres of waterfront park space.
The new intersection will be complete by November and will include new traffic signals and improved accessibility for pedestrians with crosswalks along all four sides of the intersection. The existing Johnson Street Bridge will continue to remain open throughout construction.
For current details, please go online to JohnsonStreetBridge.com.