The lights go out Wednesday night at Saanich’s McKenzie Interchange

The lights go out Wednesday night at Saanich’s McKenzie Interchange

Traffic pattern changes come overnight on major Highway 1 project

Rick Stiebel

News Staff

It’s official; let there be no light.

A day after confirming the possibility, depending on weather, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced Wednesday that vehicle traffic would be free-flowing on the Trans-Canada Highway at the McKenzie Interchange beginning Thursday, Dec. 19.

Northbound and southbound drivers will be able to use the new highway alignment under the bridge at McKenzie Avenue and Admirals Road, eliminating the wait for traffic lights to change as is the case on the existing configuration. Southbound drivers will stay in the left lanes and remain on the highway, while drivers accessing McKenzie Avenue and Admirals Road will exit to the right. The new configuration is the same as the existing one at Helmcken Road, and will remain in place until the loop ramp is completed in 2020.

A full closure of the interchange will be necessary beginning mid-evening on Wednesday, Dec. 18. Single-lane traffic will be implemented in all directions at the interchange at approximately 8 p.m. Traffic signals will be turned off at about 8:30 p.m., with traffic to be directed by traffic control personnel. Traffic will be completely stopped in all directions approaching the McKenzie Interchange at 1:30 a.m. on Thursday to allow the contractor to move barricades, activate signage and traffic lights and open the new highway alignment. Drivers can expect delays of up to 30 minutes and are asked to be patient and cautious and to follow the directions of traffic control personnel.

RELATED: McKenzie Interchange delivers early present

The new alignment is expected to open at about 2 a.m. Dec. 19. The Ministry recommends drivers detour around the McKenzie Interchange via the Tillicum and Helmcken intersections, Burnside Road or Craigflower Road at the Old Island Highway to avoid delays, beginning at 8 p.m Wednesday until 2 a.m. All work is expected to be completed in time for the morning commute on Thursday. The traffic signal timing was tested throughout last week, and will be monitored at the interchange and neighbouring intersections and adjusted to ensure traffic moves as efficiently as possible. Construction zone speed limits will remain in effect through the project site, including Highway 1, and drivers should obey all signage and posted speed limits.

“We are working closely with our partners to build modern highway infrastructure that supports economic growth, connects communities and reduces carbon emissions,” Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities said in a media release. “With the traffic lights removed on Highway 1, drivers will spend less time idling in traffic and more time getting where they need to go, helping improve the commute and keep businesses competitive.”

RELATED: McKenzie interchange construction delayed into summer 2019

B.C.’s Minister of Transporation and Infrastructure, Claire Trevena, called the removal of the traffic lights a major step in the project, and great news for the thousands of people who rely on Highway 1 each day. “There is still a lot of construction left to do, and I thank drivers, transit users, cyclists and area residents for their patience as the we work to complete this important project.”

While the new alignment may result in a reduction in travel time, the full estimated savings in travel time will not be realized until the project is completed. It is anticipated that the entire project, including the McKenzie exit loop ramp, the northbound two-lane on-ramp from McKenzie, new multi-use overpass, bus lanes, transit facilities and landscaping will be completed by the summer of 2021.

The total estimated cost is $96 million, with the Federal Government funding $32.6 under the New Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component – National and Regional Projects. The B.C. Government is funding the remaining $63.35 million.

More information on the project and new intersection is available at engage.gov.bc.ca/mckenzieinterchange/construction-updates.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

North Saanich advisor says initiative supports urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

General manager Lindsey Pomper says Sidney’s Star Cinema cannot wait welcome audiences when it reopens June 18, amid an easing of public health measures. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain for the first time after months in the darkness

Iconic theatre to reopen at half capacity for Friday night showing

A dogs in parks pilot study unanimously approved by Saanich council will evaluate how park space can best be shared between dog owners and non-owners alike. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Saanich to study park-sharing strategy between those with and without pets

District-wide People, Parks and Dogs study to produce recommendations by fall

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
BoulderHouse raring to rock Langford

Popularity of bouldering continues to climb across Greater Victoria

GardenWorks nursery in Oak Bay at its home until August. (Black Press Media file photo)
GardenWorks puts down new roots in Oak Bay this summer

Nursery shifts down The Avenue to fill former fitness studio space

The BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin saw 16 fawns come through in May, with another four in the first four days of June. (Courtesy Wild ARC)
An abandoned fawn doesn’t mean it’s orphaned, reminds Greater Victoria wildlife expert

20 orphaned fawns turned in to Wild ARC in Metchosin so far this season

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

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

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read