Build it and they will come.
That’s what the City of Colwood is hoping for, after announcing Monday that funding has finally been secured for a new overpass over Island Highway to improve connection on the Galloping Goose Regional Trail. The estimated $4.9-million project, projected for completion in 2026, will be boosted by a $3.6-million grant from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
Currently, the trail is broken up by a couple of obstacles. When the trail meets Wale Road in Colwood, users must venture south a couple hundred metres to the intersection at Island Highway, wait to cross at the light, then head westward a short ways to reconnect with the pathway further up the four-lane road.
The bridge would span the busy road and allow users a more quick and easy connection to the next section of the Goose, which runs south of Sooke Road and crosses it at the Royal Roads University entrance.
“Picture a beautifully designed bridge at the gateway to Colwood with cyclists cruising safely above the traffic on a gorgeous, seamless ride through Colwood and beyond to other areas of the region,” Mayor Rob Martin said in a release. He expects the overpass to increase the number of cyclists and pedestrians using this part of the trail.
As of last week, approximately 57,000 pedestrians and cyclists on the trail had been recorded in 2022 by the automated counter at the junction with Wale Road.
The project was highlighted as a need for the community in Colwood’s official community plan in 2018 and the transportation master plan in 2015. A feasibility study was done in 2016 but funding wasn’t available at the time.
Colwood will contribute roughly $1.4 million to the project with reserve funding set aside for community amenities, according to the city.
Staff are working with federal, provincial and regional partners to begin “scoping the project,” with design work and costing starting in 2023 and the project set to be completed before the 2026 funding deadline.