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

Victoria police search for missing senior last seen in James Bay at noon today

Elsie Habbick, 75, is quite mobile, despite suffering from dementia

Petition puts Haro Woods cyclists on notice

Locals say Saanich sends the wrong message by allowing cyclists in Haro Woods

City of Victoria looking for mural artists to work in Rock Bay

Concrete Canvas project aims to help beautify industrial neighbourhood later this summer

PHOTOS: 120th Annual Victoria Day Parade

Check out the photo gallery, watch our live feed of the festivities

Reporter gets serious with Tour de Victoria’s 140km ride

Travis Paterson’s training blog for Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria on Aug. 18, Volume 1

Oak Bay optometrist challenges community to target 100 for Ride Don’t Hide

Annual event to raise funds, awareness for Canadian Mental Health Association June 24 in Windsor Park

Saanich and Victoria councils to meet next month to discuss steps to amalgamation

Issues likely to loom large in the June 26 meeting include the perceived clarity of the question

SAR scaling back in Kilmer search, but friends will keep looking

Search for 41-year-old Cobble Hill dad hits six-day mark

Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline project until it receives assurances

B.C. tech company will power Uber Elevate

Moli and Uber announce research and development partnership.

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

Still no sign of missing father in Cowichan Valley

Search group for Ben Kilmer now stands 40 SAR volunteers and another 100 friends and concerned community members

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

Most Read