File photo

Province opens bid for Douglas Street bus lanes

Northbound lanes could cost $12.75-million

A dedicated bus lane through Saanich could be up and running as early as next fall.

The provincial government opened bidding Tuesday to extend an existing dedicated bus lane along Douglas Street (Trans-Canada Highway) from Tolmie Avenue to Burnside Ridge, the portion where the road crosses Interurban Road and Burnside Road.

“Reliable, affordable public transit is key to getting people moving with greater ease in the CRD,” said Rob Fleming, local MLA and minister of education.

Available figures estimate the project will cost $12.75 million. The provincial government’s share amounts to $8.1 million, while the federal government will cover the remaining $4.6 million under the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

Janelle Erwin, regional deputy director with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, said construction of the 2.2-kilometre-long lane is slated to start in early 2018, wrapping up in the fall of 2018.

Erwin said the traffic management plan for the project is the same as the traffic management for the McKenzie interchange project.

It requires the winning bidder to keep all lanes open to the travelling public during peak periods, she said. “There will be delays outside the peak periods.”

While the new lane will run through the municipal boundaries of Saanich, the district will not have any approval authority over the project, as the ministry will build on its own land, said Erwin. The project therefore differs from the highway berm that the ministry is currently building as part of the McKenzie interchange project, as the berm encroaches on Saanich-leased land. This said, ministry staff have actively consulted with Saanich staff, said Erwin.

Erwin also confirmed that the ministry will not hold any open houses or other forums to inform the public about the project. Concerned residents, however, can always contact the ministry.

The City of Victoria later this month will close the bidding for southbound bus and bikes lanes from Tolmie to Hillside Avenues.

The bid for the dedicated bus lane running through Saanich will likely be the first of comparable requests for tender. The Victoria Regional Transit Commission, City of Colwood and the Town of View Royal are also considering bus lanes from Goldstream Avenue to the Trans-Canada Highway on-ramp.

Just Posted

Esquimalt puts freeze on taxes for local businesses

The tax increase for residents sits at 5.51 per cent, averaging to an additional $46

Development replacing Fairfield United Church gets final approval

The new Unity Commons Development will take over the space at 1303 Fairfield Rd.

Saanich forwards student-targeted development to public hearing

Proposed development advertises itself to individuals who want a car-free lifestyle

Victoria police search for missing man, his vehicle and travel trailer

Last seen on March 17 driving white Honda Ridgeline bearing B.C. licence plate CG 4316

Victoria musician’s song featured on American Idol

Mike Edel’s song ‘The Finish Line’ was featured on the hit show

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Woman punched on the sidelines of B.C. soccer game

Both involved were watching the U21 game in West Vancouver from the sidelines when things got heated

Fraser Health under fire again for taxiing homeless man from Langley to Hope

Patient sent to Hope shelter because a spot in the man’s home community couldn’t be located

B.C. launches immunization program at schools to stamp out measles resurgence

Vaccination records to be checked at B.C. schools next fall

Couple rescued after Sea to Sky Gondola refused ride down hill

‘We were cold as hell, my lips were blue. I cried the entire way down’

Most Read