Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming and Victoria Regional Transit Commission chair Susan Brice listen as Carla Qualtrough, federal minister of public services, announces next phase of bus-only lanes for Highway 1 earlier this year. Construction will start this week. (Black Press File)

Construction of southbound bus lane running through Saanich to start this week

Total value of the project is $16 million

A $16-million project that promises to improve public transit in Greater Victoria starts this week.

Crews will break ground on the southbound Douglas Street bus lane extension project. The extension running 2.3 kilometres from the south end of the Burnside Road overpass on Highway 1 to Tolmie Avenue mirrors a priority bus lane completed in December 2018.

“Priority bus lanes help get people to where they want to go faster than in a car,” said Claire Trevena, minister of transportation and infrastructure in a release. “We expect the two-way continuous corridor between Fisgard Road and the Highway 1-Burnside Road overpass will encourage more people to use transit and, in turn, help reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Funding for the project comes from two sources: the federal government at $4.9 million and the provincial government at $11.1 million.

RELATED: Bus-lane project for Greater Victoria continues with federal funding

“We are extremely grateful for these joint investments from the federal and provincial governments,” said Saanich Coun. Susan Brice, who also chairs the Victoria Regional Transit Commission. “Growth in transit is a priority for our region, and this extension will help us achieve our goal of getting more people out of their vehicles and enjoying the benefits of transit.”

The Douglas Street corridor is one of the busiest commuter routes in Greater Victoria. As many 1,700 vehicles use it per hour during peak travel times. Of these vehicles, transit buses make up three per cent of the traffic, but carry 40 per cent of the people.

The ministry has asked the contractor — Ralmax Contracting — to schedule the majority of work outside of peak traffic periods to minimize delays. The ministry will not allow lane closures for construction on Sundays, statutory holidays or between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Nighttime work may include 25- to 30-minute traffic stoppages, with the public receiving advance notice.

The southbound bus priority lane complements other investments, such as the McKenzie Interchange and northbound priority bus lanes, to quickly move buses along the corridor and reduce traffic congestion. The provincial government has identified improved reliability of transit as an important component of the South Island Transportation Strategy, described as a comprehensive and co-ordinated approach towards reducing traffic congestion.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Lone wolf eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather in downtown Victoria for Extinction Rebellion climate protest

The rally is the kickoff to the Global Climate Strike Week of Action

Hundreds of foreign species continue to wash along B.C. coast following Japanese tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Church bells to ring for 11 minutes in support of Global Climate Strike

Each minute to signify years left to drastically reduce greenhouse gas pollution

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

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

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Most Read