ARCHIVED - Work Starts on McTavish Road Interchange / Transit Hub

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Victoria, British Columbia, November 27, 2009 – The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State (Sport) and the Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands, along with the Honourable Murray Coell, Minister of Labour and MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, were joined by the Victoria Airport Authority's president and CEO Richard Paquette and members of the local community task force to kick-off the beginning of construction for the McTavish Road interchange. This project will improve the safety and flow of traffic at McTavish Road and Highway 17 near Victoria International Airport.

"I'm pleased to see construction begin on this important stimulus project made possible by Canada's Economic Action Plan," said Minister Lunn. "This project will provide a major upgrade to a key intersection in the area – McTavish Road is a vital access point for both airport and ferry travellers, as well as local residents."

"The regional and provincial significance of this project cannot be understated as Highway 17 is a gateway to the Capital Region and all of Vancouver Island via BC Ferries at Swartz Bay and the Victoria International Airport," said Minister Coell. "At a time when every job counts, the ripple effect of this $24-million investment is expected to generate more than 150 direct and indirect jobs."

"Highway 17 is a critical linkage to both the Victoria Airport and BC Ferries," said Mr. Paquette. "The improvements to McTavish will be a significant step forward for both passengers and freight accessing our key transportation hubs."

The Government of Canada invested $10.5 million to this project through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. The Province of British Columbia invested $10.5 million. The Victoria Airport Authority invested $3 million.

The project will improve transit service opportunities for the Peninsula, by including access for Rapid Transit, as well as the park-and-ride facility for a total of 200 parking spaces. These improvements will support future transit expansion and increase transit ridership.

From November 30 until March 2011, when the intersection is scheduled to be complete, McTavish Road will be closed between Highway 17 and Lochside Drive. Canora Road will be closed between McTavish Road and Rideau Avenue from January 26, 2010 until March 2011. Access for emergency vehicles and access to the airport will not be affected. Up-to-date travel information will be available at www.drivebc.ca.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit Canada's Economic Action Plan.

Contacts:

Office of the Honourable Gary Lunn
Minister of State (Sport)
819-934-1122

Infrastructure Canada
613-948-1148

Jeff Knight
Public Affairs Bureau
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
250 356-7707

Backgrounder
IMPROVEMENTS TO HIGHWAY 17 AND MCTAVISH INTERCHANGE

This $24-million upgrade will replace the current signalized intersection at Highway 17 and McTavish Road. The project is scheduled to be complete and ready for motorists in spring 2011.

Features of the new interchange:

  • Roundabouts that will improve safety and travel time for various modes of transportation including transit, cycling and walking to Victoria International Airport and ferry terminals, and local traffic travelling within the community or to adjacent municipalities.
  • Improved opportunities for future transit service, including access for Rapid Bus, and an expansion of the current park-and-ride service (for a total of about 200 spaces).
  • Access for cyclists and pedestrians with pathways and a separate crossing.
  • Better air quality due to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and more efficient energy use due to less idling / stop-and-go traffic and increased use of transit.
  • Reduced noise caused by stop-and-go traffic.

Preliminary construction activities include placing "preload" material to compress soft soils. Local hired equipment will begin work on November 30th. The tender and award of contracts for constructing the major interchange elements will follow in early 2010.