Construction of the Keating flyover interchange could cause one of the peninsula’s main routes to be closed to traffic occasionally for the next two years.
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Rob Fleming told Black Press Media that closures of State Highway 17 – including overnight disruptions – were possible, but the contract stipulated that traffic must flow unimpeded during peak hours.
“More information will be available as work begins.”
Canada’s FlatIron Constructors Ltd has been awarded the $54.5 million contract for the Highway 17 Keating Cross Overpass project, the province announced Monday (April 17).
Construction of the interchange is expected to begin in the coming weeks, with completion expected in spring 2025.
Fleming clarified after announcing Monday that the project is expected to break ground in May.
The project will see the northbound turn lane to Keating Cross Road replaced by an interchange on Highway 17. Additional work includes installing new sidewalks at Keating Cross, widening Keating Cross and the freeway, realigning the southbound ramp, and closing the Highway 17 entrance at East Saanich and Martindale Roads.
“It’s about safety, but it’s also about capacity. It’s about our Clean Transport Action Plan, so it’s building (spatial) bus priority lanes for the bus rapid transit system we want on the Saanich Peninsula – bus on shoulders ,” Fleming said.
Funding for the project was announced in August 2019 and pre-construction work began last year. Fleming said that since the announcement in 2019, a lot of work has been done in terms of public engagement with residents and key organizations, including Keating Primary School and the Central Saanich District.
“I think it’s going to take some extra time to get it right because it’s going to be difficult conditions,” he said. “It’s a somewhat tight area in terms of available land, so geotechnical engineering and a thorough assessment of the soil condition is important to inform design and construction strategies.”
Victoria-Swan Lake’s MLA Fleming, who is no stranger to the area, said the project’s active transportation component, including sidewalks and safer crosswalks for students, would help address safety concerns.
“It will be much better than it is in terms of improved sightlines and traffic flow, and everyone will benefit from it, including those who work in the Keating Crossing Commercial Centre, one of the most dynamic manufacturing locations in the southern Vancouver Island region. department.”
The budgeted cost of the project is $76.8 million, with $57.6 million from the province, $16.7 million from the federal government and $2.5 million from the Central Saanich district.
– File by Wolfgang Depner
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