Transportation ministry commissions Pat Bay Highway study

Consultant will study Highway 17 so ministry can develop long-term plan for South Island's major corridor

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation hired a consultant to study the Pat Bay Highway.

Urban Systems Ltd., which has an office in Victoria, was tasked by the ministry to update the the Highways 17 Corridor Planning Strategy, penned in 2007. It will look at a long term strategy for the highway, between the Swartz Bay ferry terminal and McKenzie Avenue.

The ministry plans to continue working with the Town of Sidney and the Victoria International Airport for a Beacon Avenue strategy and transit will be a key part of the plan, including park and ride stops and rapid bus service.

The consultant is working with Sidney, the Victoria Airport Authority, the districts of North and Central Saanich, the Tsawout First Nation, the District of Saanich and B.C. Transit to complete the study by December 2012.

The ministry expects the study will cost $200,000.

Sidney council will discuss the study at its Feb. 6 committee of the whole meeting.