Improvements to the five-way intersection at Interurban Road, Wilkinson Road and Hastings Streets will not take place after completion of the Mckenzie Interchange Project. Travis Paterson/News Staff Travis Paterson/News Staff

Saanich’s worst intersection won’t get better until after summer 2019

District will look at Wilkinson Road and Interurban intersection following completion of interchange

Improvements to one of the busiest and perhaps trickiest intersections in Saanich, if not the entire Greater Victoria region, will have to wait until after the completion of the McKenzie interchange project. That is the message from the District of Saanich.

Harley Machielse, Saanich director of engineering, said the municipality will reassess issues around the Wilkinson-Interurban intersection after improvements to the intersection of Trans-Canada Highway and McKenzie Avenue have wrapped up.

A non-scientific survey of Saanich News readers deemed the intersection of Wilkinson Road and Interurban Road to be the worst area for traffic congestion by 37.5 per cent, ahead of the intersection at Trans-Canada Highway and McKenzie Avenue, which received 25 per cent.

“We expect to gain a new understanding and perspective after the completion of the McKenzie interchange project,” said Machielse. “At that time, we can see how traffic patterns have adjusted in the area.”

The current schedule calls for the completion of the McKenzie interchange project by the summer of 2019 following a series of delays since the official start of the long-anticipated project in September 2016. The project worth $85 million promises to improve the flow of private automobile traffic, as well as public transit through one of the major traffic choke points in the region through the addition of a partial ‘clover-leaf’ system of on and off-ramps and other improvements.

Not surprisingly, ongoing construction has increased congestion on roads in the surrounding area, including the nearby intersection of Wilkinson Road and Interurban Road.

Seen on a map, it connects a series of roads that radiate out like the letter X. Interurban Road roughly runs from Saanich’s southeast towards Saanich’s northwest, linking residential and commercial areas around Uptown with the Interurban campus of Camosun College, currently undergoing considerable, if not rapid expansion.

Wilkinson Road, meanwhile, runs from Saanich’s northeast quadrant with its residential neighbourhood towards the southwest with Wilkinson turning into Helmcken Road on the other side of Interurban. Helmecken, in turn, connects with roads in neighbouring View Royal and other Westshore communities beyond it. East of Highway 17, Wilkinson Road turns into Royal Oak Drive, thereby linking West Shore communities like View Royal with not only Saanich, but other communities on the Saanich Peninsula.

More locally, Hastings Street running east to west intersects the ‘X’ created by Wilkinson Road and Interurban Road, thereby creating a five-way intersection, home to several businesses that serve the immediate Strawberry Vale, Marigold and Glanford neighbourhoods.

In short, the intersection has local and regional significance.

“The … intersection is a particular concern in the region,” said Machielse. “We understand there is significant community interest in improving this area.”

Saanich has consulted with the public about the intersection in the past, he said. “Unfortunately, we did not find a solution that was acceptable to a variety of users, including local residents, commuters, BC Transit, pedestrians and cyclists.” This said, Saanich has not closed the door to future improvements, but only after it has amassed additional data.

“It’s important for us understand the post-construction impacts the Interchange project has on the transportation network before we review the five-way intersection,” he said.

Just Posted

Viral video shows Sooke resident calling out illegal crab fishers

The video shows a man and woman with 12 undersized crabs in Sooke

Marijuana-related business requires rezoning in Oak Bay

Council plans to add cannabis laws to priorities list

Island Corridor Foundation optimistic about restoring rail service

If green-lighted, first priority would be Langford to Victoria route

Esquimalt senior’s complex getting redeveloped

The Esquimalt Lions Lodge is one of the projects to receive funding for affordable housing

Firefighters rescue horse stuck in Saanich mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Dog psychic can help Vancouver Islanders better connect with their pets

Michele Wonnacott hosts one-day seminar in Nanaimo on Saturday, Nov. 17

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

Most Read