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Central Saanich gets $400,000 to build safer Lochside Trail crossing

Multi-use trail along Mount Newton from the highway to Saanichton village planned for 2025
The existing bike route crossing Mount Newton X Road to access the Lochside Trail. (Google Maps Streetview)

Central Saanich plans to build a safer connection for trail users while filling a gap in its active transportation network with the addition of provincial funds.

The district received $400,000 from the BC Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant to upgrade a Lochside Trail crossing at Mount Newton Cross Road to Lochside Drive.

The multi-use pathway will be separated from traffic and link to an upgraded intersection at Mount Newton Cross Road and Lochside Drive that will be a four-way stop with bike crossing.

Construction is expected this year.

The province will support 80 active transportation infrastructure projects with the latest $24 million in grants.

“People are choosing to walk, run and cycle more each year. Our support means communities can think bigger when tackling transportation challenges and providing more options for people to get around,” said Dan Coulter, B.C. Minister of State for Infrastructure and Transit, during a March 25 event for two projects in Sooke.

READ MORE: B.C. promises $1M for 2 active transportation projects in Sooke

The district also recently earmarked funding for a separated multi-use trail along Mount Newton from the highway to Saanichton Village. Conceptual drawings are underway with public engagement planned for later this year. Central Saanich hopes to see construction next year.

This piece of the project is worth more than $1 million and made possible by a $5.5 million grant from the provincial Growing Communities Fund, a one-time grant allocated to all B.C. municipalities based on population and growth.

Both projects are high priorities in the Central Saanich Active Transportation Plan and will help complete gaps in the network by providing better access to the Lochside Trail and a safe route between Saanichton Village and Tsawout First Nation.

“Our council is thrilled to see these critical active transportation projects kicking off and the network coming together,” Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor said in a news release. “Residents want to be able to travel safely without a vehicle, and grant funding is key to making that happen as quickly as possible.”

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