Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming and Victoria Regional Transit Commission chair Susan Brice listen as Carla Qualtrough, federal minister of public services, announces next phase of bus-only lanes for Highway 1 earlier this year. Construction will start this week. (Black Press File)

Construction of southbound bus lane running through Saanich to start this week

Total value of the project is $16 million

A $16-million project that promises to improve public transit in Greater Victoria starts this week.

Crews will break ground on the southbound Douglas Street bus lane extension project. The extension running 2.3 kilometres from the south end of the Burnside Road overpass on Highway 1 to Tolmie Avenue mirrors a priority bus lane completed in December 2018.

“Priority bus lanes help get people to where they want to go faster than in a car,” said Claire Trevena, minister of transportation and infrastructure in a release. “We expect the two-way continuous corridor between Fisgard Road and the Highway 1-Burnside Road overpass will encourage more people to use transit and, in turn, help reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Funding for the project comes from two sources: the federal government at $4.9 million and the provincial government at $11.1 million.

RELATED: Bus-lane project for Greater Victoria continues with federal funding

“We are extremely grateful for these joint investments from the federal and provincial governments,” said Saanich Coun. Susan Brice, who also chairs the Victoria Regional Transit Commission. “Growth in transit is a priority for our region, and this extension will help us achieve our goal of getting more people out of their vehicles and enjoying the benefits of transit.”

The Douglas Street corridor is one of the busiest commuter routes in Greater Victoria. As many 1,700 vehicles use it per hour during peak travel times. Of these vehicles, transit buses make up three per cent of the traffic, but carry 40 per cent of the people.

The ministry has asked the contractor — Ralmax Contracting — to schedule the majority of work outside of peak traffic periods to minimize delays. The ministry will not allow lane closures for construction on Sundays, statutory holidays or between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Nighttime work may include 25- to 30-minute traffic stoppages, with the public receiving advance notice.

The southbound bus priority lane complements other investments, such as the McKenzie Interchange and northbound priority bus lanes, to quickly move buses along the corridor and reduce traffic congestion. The provincial government has identified improved reliability of transit as an important component of the South Island Transportation Strategy, described as a comprehensive and co-ordinated approach towards reducing traffic congestion.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No architect for Langford building ruled ‘unreasonable’ by B.C. Supreme Court

Legal action brought against City in 2019 for permit issued on Hoffman Avenue building

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP look for Lochside Drive robbery suspect

One man arrested with a second man on the run following May 1 robbery

Victoria police make arrest in connection to string of James Bay fires

50-year-old man faces recommended arson charges for May 14 fires

Colwood drive-thru window smashed after suspect receives burger without mustard

Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Victoria police searching for suspect after baseball bat assault

Man assaulted in the 900-block of Pandora Avenue

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Most Read