The new Wilkinson Rd bridge in Saanich is on target to open for traffic again next month


The new Wilkinson Rd bridge over the Colquitz River in Saanich is on target to open for traffic again in February.  The busy route was closed in May to allow the 80 year old structure to be replaced and other improvements made in the area.

The route was originally slated to partially re-open in November -- but delays pushed the date back to  February.

Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell says the delays are weather-related:

"There's some amount of work that needs to be started late in the season around trails and things like that because of fisheries window.  But largely the issue that we've had has been weather and the number of contractors that have needed to access the site in a serial fashion, so that has required furloughing some of the other teams in order to get that work done."

Atwell says those delays had a domino effect as there is a period of time in the winter where asphalt plants close, so work slows to a crawl.  He doesn't foresee any further delays, adding it looks like bridge can open as planned next month.

The bridge project includes adding bike lanes, sidewalks, trails and upgrades to storm drain, sewer infrastructure, and lighting. The bridge is also being built to withstand a major seismic event. As well the Colquitz River Trail is also extended, with some 200 trees added. 

The bridge portion of the project is budgeted at $3.9-million. The infrastructure portion is budgeted at $6.5-million.  B.C. gas tax funding of $5.5 million is offsetting much of the cost.


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