Freshly-elected Central Saanich councillor Niall Paltiel is pushing for a more concrete discussion on the Keating X Road overpass at next month’s Strategic Planning Session.
On the District’s planning agenda for several years, the overpass has never moved beyond the advocacy phase, he said.
Paltiel is suggesting the District fund a study to explore the potential costs, and the economic benefits to an overpass, including the possibility of attracting new businesses coming into the Keating industrial area.
“Basically, whenever we’ve gone and spoken to the Ministry of Transportation about this, they want to know how Central Saanich is able to contribute,” said Paltiel. “It’s time for us to do our part and come up with a good answer.”
Though an overpass at Keating X Road is on the long term vision of the Ministry of Transportation’s Highway 17 Corridor Planning Strategy (2007), it’s not included in the list of major improvement priorities in the report.
The overpass would provide new economic opportunities for the District, said Paltiel, “paving the way for stronger transportation services, potential regional growth and new business opportunities while developing the tax base to support our farmers.”
With other major projects on the horizon for the District like extensive upgrades to Brentwood Bay’s sewer and water systems, the possible purchase of Maber flats and the construction of a drainage facility, Paltiel agreed that Central Saanich has a lot on the go right now.
He stressed that the District would not be committing to building the overpass just yet, but committing to “an informed discussion on the overpass.”
“We need to know the benefits of it before we can actually move forward,” he added.
For a full copy of the Highway 17 Corridor Planning Strategy, visit http://bit.ly/1z6Q8Hf.