Work to improve the safety of a deadly stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway in Langford is progressing as the project nears the halfway mark.
Work is underway to widen the roadway to four lanes near the Leigh Road overpass with median barriers to be installed. The project is slightly ahead of schedule, with completion expected before next summer. Work began in September 2019 after pleas from local politicians and emergency responders.
In February 2019, a 24-year-old Nanaimo man was killed near the Leigh Road overpass after a southbound vehicle and a northbound vehicle collided. Less than a month before, a driver was killed in a head-on crash on the same stretch of highway, near an undivided curve between Leigh Road and West Shore Parkway.
The two fatal crashes renewed calls for improvements from Langford Mayor Stew Young, who had been vocal in advocating for safety improvements for years.
Following the crashes, reflective delineators were installed on the centre line of the Trans-Canada Highway between Leigh Road and the West Shore Parkway as a short-term option to help improve safety.
“There were too many accidents occurring on this stretch of road and our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones. This joint project with the federal government will make important improvements in safety for those driving through the corridor,” said Claire Trevena, minister of transportation and infrastructure, in a statement released July 29.
Work already completed in the first half of the project includes blasting of the rock bluffs to improve sightlines, as well as the removal of soft soil near the Leigh Road interchange. The next phase includes building storm drainage and culverts, placing gravel roadbase and installing electrical fixtures.
Paving will take place between early August through September and drivers are advised to use caution while following directions from traffic control personnel and obeying the construction zone speed limit of 60 km/h when in place.
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