Construction crews will begin building a new two-lane bridge next week on Gillespie Road at Roche Cove, which is an important alternative route to Highway 14 during closures.
“A new bridge at Roche Cove has been a long time coming, with more and more traffic coming to our growing region,” said Premier John Horgan, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. “It’s frustrating and inefficient to wait and take turns on the old one-way bridge, and unsafe for the drivers, pedestrians and cyclists who use this crossing.”
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has awarded a $3.66-million contract to North Gate Pacific Contracting Ltd. of Maple Ridge. The work includes building a two-lane concrete bridge on an improved road alignment, with 1.5-metre paved shoulders, so pedestrians and cyclists have a safer crossing of the bridge. It will replace the existing single-lane timber bridge built in 1928, and is expected to open to traffic in fall 2018.
“Gillespie Road is an important link for people in Sooke, those accessing parks, lodges and other recreational spots, and is a critical alternate route when the highway is closed,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Constructing a new, wider bridge ensures traffic can flow safely and effectively as people travel to, from and within Sooke.”
Travellers are asked to obey traffic control personnel and watch for workers throughout the project. Delays of up to 20 minutes may occur Mondays to Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., to accommodate rock blasting. There will also be a small number of full-day closures which will be advertised in advance on roadside changeable message signs, with a detour via Kangaroo Road and East Sooke Road.
The $4.3-million Roche Cove bridge replacement project is part of the recently announced Highway 14 corridor improvements that include: transit pullouts, a queue jump lane at Jacklin Road, safety signs, upgrades to the Sooke River Road intersection, improvements to Otter Point Road, Muir Creek slow-moving vehicle pullout and the Sombrio rest area. More potential upgrades are under development in consultation with the community.