A new link between Langford Parkway and Sooke Road will mean more options for drivers.
The middle section of West Shore Parkway is set to open at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning – after the morning rush – and it will give motorists the ability to travel between Westhills to where the new roadway connects with Sooke Road (near Salem Road).
This 1.6 km stretch of roadway can also be used as a bypass in the event the Langford portion of Sooke Road is closed for an emergency.
With that in mind, and the fire earlier in the summer, Michelle Mahovlich, Langford’s director of engineering, noted they pressurized the hydrants along this section of West Shore Parkway roughly three weeks ago so fire crews could use them in the event of another fire.
“It just provides some extra protection,” she added.
Despite a shortage of contractors in the region, the entire project is moving along ahead of schedule and on budget, Mahovlich said. “We’re about five months ahead of our original grant schedule.”
She explained that by breaking up the project into segments and even tendering different jobs within those segments, they were able to keep moving at a steady pace.
“We made sure we tendered when we knew contractors would be looking … We had great bids, we were really happy with all the bids.”
Mahovlich added that by getting pre-approval to tender jobs in the fall, before final budget approvals, they were able to ensure they could have crews working in the spring and summer.
By doing a lot of the work in those months they were also able to avoid some of the weather-related delays that can prevent crews from paving or line painting.
“I just want to thank all of the contractors … in all of the segments they’ve been really great,” she said.
However, the City did meet some unexpected delays earlier this summer when B.C. Hydro line crews were called away to help in the Interior because of the wildfires.
But Mahovlich added those crews went above and beyond to help get the project completed as soon as possible.
“It was the Nanaimo line crew and they came right from the wildfires to finish our project before taking time off,” she said.
Earlier this summer the City open the Irwin Road connector and with that there was some confusion as to what was open for vehicles in the area.
Crews working on the middle section of the project (segments three and four) encountered a number of residents travelling through the construction zone so flaggers were hired to prevent vehicles from entering the site while crews were still working.
But after Wednesday morning there should be no more confusion as vehicles will be permitted to travel on that portion, which connects near the Westhills playground.
The final section, on the other side of Langford Parkway that crosses the railway tracks, will not be opened to the public until early October.