A statement from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says the McKenzie Interchange Project (here shown in a drone photo from the summer of 2018) will lead “significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions” once completed. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure photo)

Province rejects criticism from Saanich councillor over McKenzie Interchange

Transportation ministry says project will ‘significantly lower’ greenhouse gas emissions

The provincial government is defending the McKenzie Interchange Project against the recent criticism from a Saanich councillor.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said in a statement that the McKenzie Interchange will reduce congestion and provide substantial travel time savings, once completed.

The statement said later that the project once completed will reduce idling and fuel consumption at the intersection, “leading to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions.”

RELATED: Saanich councillor slams McKenzie Interchange Project

The ministry issued the statement after Coun. Judy Brownoff questioned the McKenzie Interchange Project during a recent council meeting.

Brownoff said both the provincial and federal government need to do more around transportation and buildings to help reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) responsible for climate change. “They have to be more engaged around those high priority areas,” she said. It was within this context that Brownoff criticized the project.

“For instance, investing over $80 million on a new interchange, which will create more greenhouse gases, instead of investing it into public transit,” she said.

The statement from the ministry echoes the official claim that “project will help improve traffic flow in the Capital Regional District, while reducing collisions and improving pedestrian and cyclist safety” as experts deem the intersection the “number one bottleneck” on Vancouver Island, a point supported by traffic flow numbers, as well as motor vehicle collisions.

The ministry’s statement notes that separating the Galloping Goose Trail from McKenzie Avenue has already improved safety for cyclists and is encouraging more commuters to try cycling. while the addition of dedicated bus lanes within the interchange project will further improve travel times and reliability for those commuting by transit.

But the project has also received criticism from environmentalists concerned about its impact on nearby Colquitz Creek and concerns about its final price tag are growing after the provincial government confirmed that the project has exceeded its budget by $11 million.

Finally, the project has gone well beyond its original completion date of fall 2018 with completion now scheduled for summer 2020.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Music coffee house returns to Metchosin with new name

Java Jive Coffee House takes place on Jan. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m.

‘Clever’ 90-year-old Saanich resident evades vitamin phone scammer

Police warn of phone scammers claiming to be from the Regional Health Authority

13th annual UVic Vikes Shoot for the Cure supports Canadian Cancer Society

Tip-off Saturday is at 5 p.m. for the women and 7 p.m. for the men

Sooke launches Hockeyville bid

Up for grabs: $250,000 in arena upgrades and an NHL game

VIDEO: WHO says China virus not global health emergency

The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

Father to B.C.’s first MLB hall-of-famer is one proud dad

Larry Walker Sr. talks baseball background and son’s base running gaffe

Most Read