Esquimalt officially launched the construction of the Admirals Road corridor improvement project Friday, with a special ceremony at the Colville Road train station.
Dignitaries at the ceremony included Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, Minister of State and MP for Vancouver Island North John Duncan, Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP Randall Garrison, Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Maurine Karagianis, township councillors Susan Low, Meagan Brame and Lynda Hundleby, CFB Esquimalt personnel and Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen, representing the Union of B.C. Municipalities.
The project upgrades Admirals Road between Maplebank Road and Lyall Street and will include the addition of bike lanes, a two-way left turn lane, median islands, as well as sidewalks and streetlights.
The township will also install stormwater treatment devices and for storm and sanitary collection systems, which will help to protect local waterways.
Funding for the $4.6-million project is provided by several sources including $2.8 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund, a $1.2 million loan from the Municipal Finance Authority and $600,000 from the township.
The project has been years in the making, Desjardins said.
Originally, the federal government was going to cover all the costs of the project, but when the township discovered work needed to be done on underground infastructure more money was needed.
“It’s not until you start digging that you realize there’s more to it,” Desjardins said.
The busy corridor carries more than 18,000 vehicles per day and is a regional roadway servicing CFB Esquimalt, Saanich, View Royal and Esquimalt.
“We must recognize Admirals Road as a regional commuter route for residents and tourists, but it is also importantly a neighbourhood. Many of the design features in the project recognize that fact,” Desjardins said.
Duncan said the federal government is committed to infrastructure projects across the nation, especially ones that improve the health of Canadians by providing more cycling and walking options.
“It’s important for communities to adapt to these needs which is why these upgrades will continue to improve health benefits, lower transportation costs and put fewer vehicles on the road.”
Work on the Admirals Road corridor improvement project is expected to be completed this fall.