Sound walls, excavation still to go as McKenzie Interchange passes halfway mark

Video: Drone footage over the McKenzie interchange project

The $85 million McKenzie interchange is past the halfway mark and while it’s only about a year away from completion, there are still a few major hurdles to pass before commuters can get excited.

With about 85,000 cars passing through the Trans Canada Highway intersection with McKenzie-Admirals each day, the ongoing traffic delays due to construction will continue.

Janelle Staite is leading the project as the regional deputy director with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. She took time to meet media on Friday morning for an update.

Traffic delays reached an unofficial peak in June when the ministry adjusted light sequencing to improve the flow and reduce the heavy delays.

The next big change in traffic flow won’t come until November, Staite said. At that time traffic lanes will be altered as the excavation for the new lowered highway continues.

Most of the current delays are during nightly blasting.

The blasting will continue between 8 and 10 p.m. as the new highway is lowered seven meters, Staite said.

“We don’t know how much blasting we’ll need to do as we find more rock.”

Aside from the overall setback of the heavy winter rain in 2016-17, which pushed the project back about six months into mid- to late- 2019, things are on track. The Galloping Goose McKenzie overpass is complete while the temporary pedestrian overpass between Portage Road and Marigold/Spectrum schools will be upgraded to a permanent overpass in 2019. And soon-to-be installed green sound walls are sitting in piles along the side of the highway just north of the temporary overpass with the frames for some of the sound walls already erected.

The green noise walls will typically be three metres high and made of concrete and walls will be placed on MOTI right-of-way. Noise mitigation is also anticipated by having a raised Galloping Goose trail and by lowering the highway below the interchange. The project also includes rapid transit facilities for the future, as well as “shoulder lane and queue jumper priority lanes at ramp intersections that allow buses to bypass queues,” says the project website.

The highway is identified as a future rapid transit corridor between the West Shore, downtown Victoria and the University of Victoria. Construction of a priority bus lane is currently underway along Douglas/TCH from Tolmie to the Burnside Bridge (just west of Tillicum/TCH intersection) but will end there, though will benefit from the new priority pullout at the McKenzie interchange.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Westshore Rebels game postponed due to poor air quality conditions

Games expected to continue the following week

Tesla internship calls for UVic designer of electric ‘Caboost’

Saanich’s Simon Park to test design of his invention at Tesla

BC Farmers’ Market Trail a one-stop virtual guide to the goods

New website assembles, profiles 145+ farmers’ markets throughout B.C.

Saanich police investigating sexual assault in broad daylight

Social media lit up with accusations incident took place at Regina Park tent city

Swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in 2019

PM Justin Trudeau gears up to run in next year’s election

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

A massive cloud of smoke hangs over B.C. and Alberta due to wildfires

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

In response to the Pennsylvania report, Francis labeled the misconduct “crimes”

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

The pilot project provides seasonal workers with up to five more weeks of benefits

Trump rages on Mueller following Times report

Trump takes to Twitter calling Robert Mueller “disgraced and discredited”

BC Wildfire crew rescues lost puppies

They were just leaving the Monashee Complex of fires when they found the cutest creatures.

Mid-Vancouver Island air quality risk very high

Residents of the mid-Island area went to bed last night and awoke… Continue reading

Most Read