The Town of Sidney is starting to make plans on an interchange for Beacon Avenue at the Pat Bay Highway.
But staff said any actual construction wouldn’t happen for 15 to 20 years.
“The Ministry [of Transportation] hasn’t made any indication that they’re going to go ahead with any of these interchanges,” said Rob Hall, the town’s director of engineering and works.
The ministry is currently updating its vision for the highway.
Still, for any future changes, land along the highway and Beacon Avenue might be needed, so now is the time to make the decisions that will set that land aside, Hall said.
At a recent committee of the whole meeting, town council saw the Highway 17 and Beacon Ave. Interchange Concept Design Development Study. The preferred plan includes a pedestrian overpass across the highway, north of Beacon – that’s the first priority. Under the overpass, rapid transit buses could pull up to pick up passengers.
Next, the plan proposes a traffic overpass that connects Bevan Avenue to Stirling Way on Victoria International Airport property. Roundabouts at the end of Bevan – currently the parking lot for the Mary Winspear Centre – and on Stirling and Beacon west of the highway, would help traffic move smoothly, according to planners.
“The next step is really working with the Mary Winspear Centre … to look at access off the Pat Bay with an egress from the [current parking lot],” said Randy Humble, director of development and acting chief administrative officer. “At the end of the day, there is the realization this may not be built for 15, 20 years, but we have to recognize the footprint it will need and plan for that.”
The town will soon start a public and business consultation process.