Things are about to get less congested for drivers on the Millstream Road overpass.
Starting the week of Jan. 29, the City of Langford will begin improvements to the overpass, including the construction of another left turn lane for those travelling south across the bridge deck to turn onto the Trans-Canada Highway to Victoria.
“With the addition of the second left hand turn lane to Victoria that will alleviate a lot of the traffic coming out of the north side of the bridge, the Costco shopping area and all of the residential traffic there,” director of engineering Michelle Mahovlich said.
Other improvements include the construction of two-metre wide bike lanes in both directions linking to the existing lanes on Millstream Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway, completion of the missing sections of sidewalk on the east side of the bridge, and a pedestrian and/or cycling crossing location northbound to cross over the southbound on-ramp.
There will also be signal improvements including a pedestrian crossing on the northbound off-ramp and a signalized left turn lane for vehicles on the bridge deck travelling north to Nanaimo. A sidewalk will also be completed at the east side of the bridge.
Drivers coming north towards the bridge from Veterans Memorial Parkway will also see some changes, as the two right turn lanes heading onto the highway will be reduced to a single lane.
The $2-million project to relieve what has become known as the Costco crunch has been in the works for some time.
In May 2017, the City put the project to tender, but only received one bid that came in 25 per cent over budget.
Nanaimo-based Windley Contracting was awarded the contract for the work which was put to tender for a second time in September.
Work will be done Monday to Friday between the hours of 4 a.m. to 2 p.m., during which times drivers could expect some lane closures.
However crews are doing their best to avoid construction during peak hours in the afternoon or Friday afternoons. Staff anticipate the project will be complete in April.
During the first five weeks, a retaining wall will also be built to widen the lane coming southbound across the bridge deck near the Langford fire hall, approaching Peatt Road.
“Where possible, some of it will be done at night, but not all of it can be done at night,” said Mahavolich, noting when construction is taking place drivers should slow down and keep an eye out for workers.
In a similar vein, the Bear Mountain Parkway Completion project, which is also expected to relieve congestion, is slated for completion in February.
The roughly 3.3-kilometre route will connect the Leigh Road and McCallum Road intersection with the roundabout at Country Club Way.