An $85 million road project to improve Highway 14 near Sooke has been delayed for months and is not expected to be completed until next spring.
Despite the delay, the government did not explain why the project was pushed back to its original fall completion date.
In a statement to Black Press Media, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure expects the project to be “substantially complete” by spring 2023. Earlier, the ministry said the project would be “substantially completed” by fall 2022.
Black Press was unable to obtain a direct response from the ministry to questions about project delays. The ministry said in a follow-up email that “the Route 14 project is progressing well” and that “major milestones” have been completed.
The Conney Road to Grinz Lake section of the highway is described by the ministry as a “complex project with a large number of construction projects going on”. However, the expansion of the four paved lanes on the 1.4km section is expected to be completed this month, with the remaining project work continuing in winter and spring.
Ongoing work will include building a new park and ride area with eight EV chargers, adding BC Transit bus pulls to avoid slowing traffic, installing overhead lighting, and creating a safer route from Hwy 14 to Gillespie Road aisle.
Despite the delay, the ministry said the project was within budget.
Sooke Mayor Maja Tait said while she always wanted to see a project like this completed as soon as possible, she knew there could be delays.
“Sadly, everything is taking longer than we’d like, and the costs keep going up and so on,” Tate said. “When you drive past it, of course you can see that work is going on, and we know that sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances that cause delays.”
She said she would be happy to see it completed, and while there were complaints, residents generally understood the project would take time to complete.
Ken Whitaker, managing partner of 17 Mile Pub, said his business had been affected by surrounding buildings, but overall it was less than he expected.
“It’ll be nice when they’re done, but I’m not sure how far they are,” Whitaker said. “Obviously, I wanted it to be done sooner, but I couldn’t control it.”
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