The McKenzie Interchange project is an area of concern for residents who live nearby, so they’ve recruited the help of MLA Rob Fleming and Saanich mayor, Fred Haynes. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich mayor and local MLA support ‘neighbourhood champions’ in McKenzie Interchange concerns

Construction closure leaves area residents using intersection in need of safety upgrades

The residents who live in the area bounded by Admiral’s Road and Highway 1 say that the construction of the McKenzie Interchange has forced them to use an unsafe intersection to enter their community. Their concerns have attracted the attention of Fred Haynes, the mayor of Saanich, and Victoria-Swan Lake MLA, Rob Fleming.

READ ALSO: Residents concerned about safety near McKenzie Interchange call on MLA

The residents contacted the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) in 2017 to address their safety concerns. MoTI commissioned a road safety assessment so be completed by SNC-Lavalin. The report concluded that there were safety concerns and went on to recommend two options for ameliorating the situation. The residents were pleased and felt their efforts had been validated. Then, MoTI contacted the residents to let them know that none of the safety changes suggested in the report would be implemented as they were not within the scope of the project.

Vicki Blogg and her husband, George, were upset as they’d spent years working with MoTI to find a solution to the safety concerns. The Bloggs lead a neighbourhood action group, the Portage Inlet Sanctuary Colquitz Estuary Society (PISCES). The group met with Fleming last week in an effort to find support. Fleming acknowledged the validity of the concerns and told PISCES that he would call a meeting with Haynes and some senior members of MoTI.

READ ALSO: Ministry responds to safety concerns for Admirals Road

Haynes says the meeting will address the community concerns because road safety is important to Saanich and to MoTI. He refers to the Bloggs as “neighbourhood champions.”

“Saanich has been supportive of the McKenzie Interchange project and the benefits associated with this infrastructure improvement. However, it’s important to note that the project and the direct impacts stemming from it, such as changes in local traffic access, are under the purview of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, not the District of Saanich,” says Haynes.

He points out that Saanich will keep an eye on the intersection at Admirals Road and Esson Road as they would with any roadway in the city.

READ ALSO: SNC-Lavalin report recommends safety changes at Admirals Road, Esson Road intersection

“As a key stakeholder, Saanich is supportive of further discussions and open communication with the Ministry if they choose to make any safety improvements,” says Haynes.

Fleming says the meeting between Haynes, members of MoTI and himself will be scheduled soon.

“I’m looking forward to sitting down with Mayor Haynes, and staff from the Ministry of Transportation and the District of Saanich to discuss possible safety improvements to Admirals Road,” says Fleming.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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