Greater Victoria residents have until March 24 to comment on plans to improve Highway 17 northbound at Keating Cross Road where plans call for a new “flyover”overpass.
The overpass would eliminate left turns across highway traffic onto Keating Cross Road and East Saanich Road for northbound traffic heading west. Plans also call for a realigned southbound on-ramp to Victoria from Keating Cross Road, new bus-on-shoulder facilities supporting long-term plans for bus rapid transit on Highway 17 and the widening of Keating Cross Road (between highway ramps to Central Saanich Road) to accommodate pedestrians, among other changes.
These plans respond to a report warning of delays on the highway heading northbound against the backdrop of higher southbound traffic and population growth in Central Saanich.
“Turning movements at Keating Cross Road and East Saanich Road at Highway 17 will experience significant delays and queues as the gaps for vehicles turning left are significantly reduced due to increased southbound highway traffic,” reads a public presentation. It adds that traffic turning left from Highway 17 to Keating Cross Road also experiences more “frequent and more severe collisions” than provincial averages, with this pattern predicted to get worse as local and highway traffic increase.
The provincial government has identified the project as a priority and is calling on the public to provide input on the project expected to carry a significant final cost.
While Ottawa has put more than $16 million toward this project, the provincial government is still finalizing its share after reviewing the business case. Central Saanich has committed $2.5 million.
Engineering on the project has started and the provincial government said travellers can expect to see workers on site.
To participate in the public engagement process, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-infrastructure/projects/highway-17-keating-cross-overpass.
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