Engineering students from the University of Victoria (UVic) recommend Saanich install a set of traffic lights or a roundabout at the intersection of West Saanich Road, Sparton Road (left) and Prospect Lake Road (right) under a partnership between the university and the District. (Google Map)

Saanich partners with UVic to solve real-life engineering problems

Civil engineering students focused on Larchwood corridor near McKenzieAvenue and West Saanich Road

Something new and something old was on the table as University of Victoria engineering students presented their solutions to real-life engineering problems in Saanich.

The eight presentations from third-year civil engineering students focused on the Larchwood corridor near McKenzie Avenue and the intersection at West Saanich Road, Sparton Road and Prospect Lake Road.

Presentations delivered last week at UVic counted towards 40 per cent of students’ grades, and took place before a panel that included Harley Machielse, Saanich’s director of engineering. Kevin Volk, assistant deputy minister with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Christopher Kennedy, chair of UVic’s civil engineering.

“I was very impressed,” said Machielse. The collaboration with UVic has alerted Saanich engineering staff to some “innovative” ideas, while giving students real-life engineering experience, he said.

This year marked the second year of the partnership between Saanich and UVic. Like last year, Saanich asked students to investigate ways to improve the cycling connectivity between Larchwood Drive and Ansell Road across McKenzie Avenue.

Both Larchwood Drive and Ansell Road run north to south. But while Larchwood Drive directly terminates on the northern side of McKenzie Avenue, Ansell Road culminates in a cul-de-sac located just behind the southern side of McKenzie. In other words, it does not directly connect with McKenzie Avenue, the natural link between the two roads.

Like last year, the common element among presentations was the inclusion of a two-way cycle track linking Larchwood and Ansell.

If the first problem covered familiar terrain in an urban area, the second problem addressed an uncontrolled intersection in rural Saanich near Prospect Lake.

The intersection at West Saanich Road, Sparton Road and Prospect Lake Road has been the source of much community concern because it needs to accommodate a wide range of users: drivers, cyclists, pedestrians (including school children) and equestrians using a nearby trail.

Pending council’s approval, Saanich plans to improve the intersection, and the work of the students will be beneficial.

“They came up with some great creative designs that will help us with our design process,” said Machielse.

Students identified two broad solutions. The first calls for a full set of traffic signals, whereas the other recommends a roundabout.

Both solutions would result in a “substantial cost,” said Machielse.

“There are so many different elements than the signals themselves,” he said. They include, among others, the alignment of the roads themselves, gutters and storm-sewers, he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tour de Rock turns community bubble relay race amid pandemic

Alumni will take on socially distanced leg of race in their hometowns

McKenzie interchange project drives towards completion

Motorists asked to continue following construction zone signage as crews will be on site into the fall

Victoria city council in support of floating dock on Gorge

City staff will bring forward a report on the dock in November

Oak Bay police seek suspect who broke into liquor store on Cadboro Bay Road

The incident happened at 2:50 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17

North Saanich among six communities facing ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Findings appear in a report that also analyzed daycare in Central Saanich and Sidney

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Long-term care need pressuring acute care in Comox Valley, Strathcona

Region could use a couple of large facilities for seniors on the north part of the Island

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Most Read