The centre of the main roundabout a the McTavish Road interchange in North Saanich received new landscaping. South Island Mainroad Contracting says it was done to save tax dollars and will be maintained to ensure visibility for drivers. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)

North Saanich roundabouts get new landscaping

McTavish Interchange landscaping cheaper, still safe

Landscaping going into in the centre of a pair of roundabouts at the McTavish Road Interchange in North Saanich had a lot of people talking — but that’s not necessarily new when it comes to the controversial section of road.

This month, South Island Mainroad Contracting has been replacing the long grass and rocks in the centre of those roundabouts with slower-growing grass, tulips and four saplings. After posting a photo of the work on the News Review’s Facebook page, readers sounded off — both for and against — the work.

Rick Gill, general manager of Mainroad’s South Island office, knows all too well the amount of complaints that are leveled at the interchange. His company has the road maintenance contract for the Province of B.C. in the region and they maintain not only the roadway itself, but the flora on government property around it.

Gill says that Mainroad, in consultation with the Province, is trying to save taxpayers’ dollars by going with landscaping that does not require as much maintenance as the fast-growing long grass that was there before.

“It was a maintenance nightmare,” he said, noting that the tall grass always garnered complaints from the public and was labour intensive to keep under control.

Gill said crews have planted different, slower-growing grass and trees that will grow upwards, rather than outwards, in order to ensure drivers can see traffic within the roundabouts. The new landscaping, he explained, cost an estimated $10,000 and will be monitored by another landscaping company for the first season of growth, to ensure sight lines are maintained.

RELATED: Signal early, have patience when negotiating roundabouts.

Gill said it’s there’s always a balance to maintain when it comes to roadside landscaping. Not only does it have to look good to motorists going by at 80 km/hr, but it also has to allow drivers can see through it. He added that making traffic circles look good can sometimes sacrifice the drive safety concerns. In this case, he said the trees should grow to have six or eight feet of stem, before the canopy.

Gill said the main reason for the change is to reduce hours spent maintaining the area — and in the end save the Province money, and put more money into other road upkeep needs.



editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria gets new collegiate baseball team, training facility

Golden Tide coach wants to see as many local kids play for the HarbourCats as possible

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Greater Victoria

Thunderstorm may produce strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain, warns Environment Canada

Sooke couple that owned Sooke Harbour House given $4 million after lengthy court case

B.C. Supreme Court rules in favour of Frederique and Sinclair Philip

Local MP Elizabeth May likes aspects of throne speech, but questions execution

According to May nobody is as ‘reckless’ as BC’s John Horgan in dismissing snap election

Sooke councillor pitches another way to improve transit

Coun. Jeff Bateman wants free passes for youth on local routes

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Most Read