A new decade: Some of Greater Victoria’s biggest projects slated for completion in 2020

A new decade: Some of Greater Victoria’s biggest projects slated for completion in 2020

Big 2020 milestones for wastewater treatment project, McKenzie Interchange

As Greater Victoria starts a new decade, a few of the region’s long-term projects are set to come to an end. Here’s a look ahead at what’s in store for 2020 and the decade beyond.

Wastewater Treatment Project one year from completion

The year 2020 is slated to see the final touches on the region’s largest infrastructure project to date. Colin Plant,Capital Regional District (CRD) board chair, says in mid-2020, testing is expected to begin on the wastewater treatment project, and by Dec. 31, 2020 it’s expected to be fully online.

“I think if one was to look back in five years…at 2020 it will be, ‘that’s the year the sewage project was completed,’” Plant said. “And that sewage project has been in the works for decades.”

READ ALSO: $775-million wastewater project on track to be completed on time, within new budget

With a cost of $775 million – including a $10 million overdraw – the project has federal and provincial support amounting to $459 million. When it’s done, the region’s wastewater process will meet provincial guidelines by providing tertiary treatment for wastewater from core municipalities in the CRD including Esquimalt, Saanich, Oak Bay, View Royal, Victoria, Langford, Colwood and the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations.

The project’s three-part installation includes the McLoughlin Point wastewater treatment plant in Esquimalt, the residual solids treatment facility at the Hartland Landfill and the ‘conveyence system’ also known as the ‘pumps and pipes’ of the wastewater project responsible for carrying wastewater from across the region to the treatment plant and residual solids to Hartland Landfill’s residuals treatment facility.

Plant says another 2020 development might be the transformation of garbage into a regional resource. At the new treatment facility, developed at the Hartland Landfill, a series of digestion and drying processes will turn the area’s trash into dried Class A biosolids that could be sold to energy manufacturers. If a tentative deal with Fortis goes through, that trash could put millions of dollars into the region.

“This is natural gas already in the system – it has developed products otherwise going in the landfill. So [we’re] displacing greenhouse gas emissions by recovering this natural gas,” Plant said.

“If we land that deal, it could make the CRD millions of dollars. We’re still in negotiations with Fortis but we hope to be able to report out on that soon.”

READ ALSO: Sewage treatment plant in Esquimalt sees rising costs

The CRD has called 2019 a ‘peak year of construction’ for the wastewater treatment project – with 550 people working across 23 active construction sites – and predicts another busy year for 2020, with completion of construction and the entire wastewater treatment project going online by the end of the year.

McKenzie interchange headaches projected to end in 2020

Nearly four years after the final design was announced, the McKenzie interchange remains unfinished.

At a cost of $96 million, the project will put a new interchange on the Trans-Canada Highway at the intersection of Admirals Road and McKenzie Avenue, addressing the “number one bottleneck on Vancouver Island.”

After a series of delays pushed the McKenzie Interchange years from its original completion date of fall 2018, the provincial government is projecting completion in summer 2020. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

READ ALSO: McKenzie interchange project sees delays

But commuters making their way through the ongoing construction zone – often heavily congested as drivers weave their way through lane changes and traffic cone cut offs – know the project remains unfinished.

Initially, the McKenzie interchange was to be completed in fall 2018 but was pushed to summer 2019. Then unforeseen weather events – specifically heavy snowfall – and the discovery of variable rock beneath the existing intersection, pushed that date further back.

But the traffic lights are now being removed and the provincial government’s current projections say the entire project, including a loop ramp, landscaping and transit facilities, is expected to be finished by summer 2020.

READ ALSO: $11 million overdraw for McKenzie Interchange construction

Greater Victoria transportation planning both a provincial and regional priority

In January 2019, the province announced the South Island Transportation Plan.

Spanning from Duncan to west Sooke, the B.C. government said it would conduct a regional study to create a plan for improving some of Greater Victoria’s biggest, busiest corridors.

READ ALSO: CRD board puts the brakes on alternative Malahat route

In April, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced Urban Systems would have one year to administer the study – developing a “transportation snapshot” on current conditions, updating a Malahat corridor study from 2007 and identifying specific transportation investment opportunities.

Minister of Transportation Clare Travena said the study would lead to a “comprehensive regional plan.”

“I know people are frustrated with congestion and we want to find solutions that will get people moving,” she said.

The study would look for improvements to transit systems, cycling options, pedestrian routes, ferries, existing roads and the feasibility of a commuter rail along the E&N corridor.

With the province’s eye trained to the South Island, the CRD took a step back from transportation planning. But that’s something Plant says might change in the coming year.

READ ALSO: Studies for E&N corridor still on track after BC Transit investments

The province, he believes, will have major provincial roadways at the core of its planning – leaving out some of the more localized problem areas like Shelbourne Street, McKenzie Avenue, Wilkinson or Interurban Road, to name a few.

“I think in 2020, transportation has to come back onto the table as a regional topic,” Plant says. “Because the province has signalled what they’re looking at is not, what we think, the only thing that should be looked at.”



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
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

Anvy Technologies CEO Victor Nicolov displays his company’s innovative garbage disposal device, the Sepura. (Courtesy of Anvy Technologies)
Goodbye garburator, this Victoria company has a clean composting solution

Sepura has made Times Magazine’s ‘100 Best Inventions of 2020’ for its hassle-free functioning

Sweetpal Chauhan, operator of several Shell Gas stations in Greater Victoria, donated 100 jackets and 100 sleeping bags to Our Place on Friday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Victoria businessman donates 100 jackets, 100 sleeping bags to Our Place

Warm jackets, sleeping bags can mean the ‘difference between life and death’

Merchants along Fort Street are hosting the Winter Wander holiday shopping event Dec. 5. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Wander along Fort Street for a total holiday shopping experience

Merchants featuring discounts, special offerings; community event set for Dec. 5

Nikita, a four-year-old German Shepherd that was attacked by a buck in a backyard in Esquimalt Sunday is lucky the injury wasn't more severe. (Photo contributed by Suzette Goldsworthy)
Esquimalt dog owner issues alert after deer injures German shepherd

Nikita needed stitches after an early morning encounter

The Victoria Police Department headquarters. (Black Press Media file photo)
Investigation launched into man’s death after arrest in Victoria

IIO investigation to determine if police actions or inaction played a role in the man’s death

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

7-year-old Mackenzie Hodge from Penticton sent a hand-written letter to premiere John Horgan asking if she’d be able to see her elf, Ralph under the new coronavirus restrictions. (John Horgan / Twitter)
Elf on the shelf an acceptable house guest, B.C. premier tells Penticton girl

A 7-year-old from Penticton penned a letter asking if she’d be allowed to see her elf this year

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

Most Read