Sixteen presentation boards were on display at Tuesday evening’s Highway 14 informational open house. They provided a review of past commitments, current progress, and possible future directions.
There were no radically new announcements. A traffic light is being planned for the intersection at Sooke at Sooke River Road, with a completion target date of summer, 2019.
Sooke Road, aka Highway 14 sees about 16,000 vehicles per day. High collision rates happen in areas near Gillespie Road, as well as in the Sombrio area. The highway is closed an average of six times per year between Sooke and Victoria, with the closures averaging about two hours. The longest closure between 2011 and 2016 was seven hours. From Sooke to Port Renfrew, the highway sees an average of three closures per year, each averaging two hours with the longest closure being eight hours.
Three future priorities were identified:
1. Transit upgrades (Plans are in the works to start doing more community focused planning, but Sooke probably won’t see those results before next year. No services changes are expected in the near future):
- Improve safety and comfort at bus stops
- Remove unsafe and low volume stops
- Add more park and ride spaces
- Add transit priority
2. Upgrading the existing highway:
- Create passing opportunities
- Improve high collision locations
- Support active transportation
- Replace aging infrastructure
- Add highway amenities
3. Exploring potential realignments of highway, when:
- cost effective;
- supported by the community; and
- technically and environmentally feasible.
A new highway? Probably not
Touched upon ever so briefly was the construction of a new highway. In speaking with a representative from the Ministry, this clearly is a pie-in-the-sky option. The costs alone, given the elevation of the project, are staggering. The cost per kilometer is anywhere from $20 million to $50 million; a 13 kilometer highway could cost half a billion dollars. Don’t hold your breath.
View the complete boards presented at the information session, and then consider providing your input. You can email your comments to email@example.com or complete the online feedback form by July 15, 2018.
Your feedback will be considered for transportation improvements along this corridor. The idea is to ensure the that this corridor meets the needs of users in the short and long term.