The new McKenzie interchange will be built as a partial cloverleaf reflecting the preferred option of 75% of those who participated in the public consultation, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone announced today. This design is also the safest, most efficient option and best meets the long-term needs of this region.
“I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to let us know their thoughts on the McKenzie interchange project, as this input is fundamental to ensuring the interchange meets the needs of those who will be using it,” said Stone. “We heard overwhelming support for the partial cloverleaf design, supported by the team’s ongoing technical analysis, and now our work continues in discussing further details with stakeholder groups and the public as we finalize the design.”
Technical analysis shows that the partial cloverleaf will operate more safely and efficiently than other option – the diamond interchange. The partial cloverleaf reduces the chances of collisions and, as such, is expected to provide $4 million in additional safety benefits over the other options in just the first 20 years. As well, with no stop lights for vehicles turning left onto McKenzie, travel will be more efficient for traffic now and for expected traffic volume in the future.
The design also improves access for cyclists, pedestrians and transit users, making travel better for transit users and safer for cyclists and pedestrians. It provides a separated route for a wider Galloping Goose Trail with a new path over the highway and McKenzie Avenue, avoiding the lights and vehicle traffic. The project will also include bus lanes, transit priority signals, and improved connections to bus stops.
“Saanich’s interest in this project has always been to ensure that the preferred option addresses the long-term needs of our community,” said Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell. “We look forward to continuing our work with the Province of B.C. on this important transportation initiative.”
The ministry recognizes that the partial cloverleaf has a larger footprint on the surrounding area affecting Cuthbert Holmes Park. It remains committed to developing the project in an environmentally responsible way and in the best interest of residents. As the project moves forward, staff will continue to work closely with stakeholders, including the District of Saanich, community associations and park stewards in preparing a comprehensive plan to mitigate the impact on the environment, and ensure there is no net loss of park land.
Meetings will also continue with stakeholder groups to develop the remaining details around cycling and pedestrian connections and noise mitigation strategies. The ministry will showcase the final plan at a third open house scheduled for May 18, 2016, from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Parish Hall, 753 Burnside Road West.
Construction is slated to begin this fall.
- During the second round of public engagement, 75% of respondents supported the partial cloverleaf option (59% strongly agreed; 16% somewhat agreed).
- 75% of people also agreed with the pedestrian and cycling facilities proposed as part of the interchange project (45% strongly agreed; 30% somewhat agreed).
- The project team has reviewed more than 1,580 pieces of feedback.
- Since its launch, the McKenzie Interchange project website has been viewed more than 17,000 times.
- The first open house was held Nov. 17, 2015, with 610 attendees.
- The second open house was held Feb. 24, 2016, with 353 attendees.
- $85 million in provincial and federal funding for this new interchange was announced on July 22, 2015.
Results from the second round of consultation can be viewed at:http://engage.gov.bc.ca/mckenzieinterchange/
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