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Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
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McKenzie interchange project design details

The McKenzie interchange will improve safety, congestion and reliability.  The current intersection has a collision rate almost three times the provincial average, and is the number-one bottleneck on Vancouver Island. As well, unpredictable travel times affect transit service levels and commuters. The ministry is moving forward with design work and has released additional details regarding noise mitigation and environmental improvements, as well as additional features for cyclists, pedestrians and transit users.

Partial cloverleaf design:

The partial cloverleaf design was selected after thorough technical analysis showed it to be the safest, most efficient design that also best meets the long-term needs of the region. Analysis shows this design will result in:

  • Reduced frequency and severity of crashes, providing $30 million in safety benefits over the first 20 years ($4 million more than any other option),
  • Substantial travel time savings,
  • Elimination of long queues on Highway 1 and McKenzie, which will stop drivers from shortcutting through neighbourhoods,
  • Elimination of long queues on Admirals Road northbound, enhancing local access to neighbourhoods,
  • Improved transit reliability and connections, encouraging increased transit use,
  • Reduced noise for neighbouring residents through lowering of Trans-Canada Highway and addition of noise walls,
  • Enhanced enjoyment and safety for Galloping Goose Trail users through grade separation and noise walls, and
  • Reduced idling and fuel consumption, leading to lower greenhouse-gas emissions.

Environmental plan:

A comprehensive plan has been developed that includes:

  • Clearing invasive plant species and planting new trees, shrubs and vegetation to replace plants and trees that are removed,
  • Establishing new planting areas adjacent to schools,
  • Addressing storm-water drainage by building a new treatment area,
  • Taking measures to prevent any sediment or construction materials from reaching the water during construction,
  • Ensuring protective measures are in place, including  special monitoring and buffer zones during bird breeding season.

The Province will make the following improvements to mitigate environmental impacts in Cuthbert Holmes Park:

  • Increasing the amount of park land by transferring unused ministry-owned lands to Saanich for the park,
  • Building and re-establishing trails,
  • Constructing a new park trail along the north side of the park, complete with native tree buffer from highway,
  • Incorporating a new trail head and kiosk at the parking lot off of Admirals Road with interpretive signage, and
  • Planting new areas of trembling aspen.

Pedestrian, cyclist and transit user features:

The ministry will build new bus-on-shoulder lanes with transit signal priority. In addition, the new bus stops will be well-lit, with shelters, and will have fully accessible pedestrian connections. The detailed plans also include where buses will travel and where the new and future bus stops will be located around the interchange.

For cyclists and pedestrians, the Galloping Goose Trail will include dedicated overpasses at both McKenzie Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway so that cyclists and pedestrians will no longer have to cross in front of vehicles. The new overpass for cyclists and pedestrians will be more than twice the width of the existing path, and the trail will be widened to meet the growing number of cyclists and pedestrians. The grades at the overpasses will be gentle, not exceeding four per cent. The ministry will also install new lighting along the trail and on the accesses to the nearby schools, which see an average of 350 students every school morning.