The walk to school in Sooke will soon be safer, as construction begins on the Sooke River Road intersection project.
The intersection, just west of Edward Milne Community school, has long been a concern for parents and school officials, with inadequate sidewalks and lengthy delays.
“I am glad to see another project starting to improve the safety and functionality of Highway 14,” said Premier John Horgan, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. “We have made significant strides along this corridor and we will have more projects to announce in the months ahead.”
“This will be a significant safety improvement for our students walking to and from school and for students, staff, parents and visitors turning off of Edward Milne Road in vehicles,” said Ravi Parmar, board chair, School District 62.
Approximately 16,000 vehicles travel along this corridor every day, with peak commute times coinciding with school pickup and drop off. This can often lead to increased traffic congestion for commuters trying get on and off the highway and visitors travelling to the nearby Sooke Potholes Provincial Park.
“Council was approached by local high school students requesting a sidewalk in the area, and I am very pleased to say that we worked with our provincial government to make this happen,” said Maja Tait, mayor of Sooke. “This is a very busy intersection not only with school traffic, but also with residents and tourists visiting the Sooke Potholes, one of our community's most popular recreation areas.”
The project addresses safety and congestion concerns by:
- installing new traffic signals at the intersection of Highway 14 and Sooke River Road
- making significant improvements to the sidewalk along Edward Milne Road in front of Edward Milne Community school
- adjusting the alignment of Derbend Road to make Highway 14 and Sooke River Road a four-way intersection
- building curbs and a drainage system along Edward Milne Road
- adding improved lighting along Sooke River Road
- improving access to the nearby T’Souke Nation commercial development that is currently under construction
Construction on the $6.9-million project will begin this week and is scheduled to be completed by summer 2019.
In January 2018, the Province announced the Highway 14 corridor improvement project. The goal of this work is to improve safety for drivers, transit users, cyclists and pedestrians by reducing the number of crashes and making the highway more efficient for travellers.
Corridor improvements include:
- three new bus pullouts on both sides of Highway 14 – completed
- new safety signs at three locations – completed
- new rest area at Sombrio Beach – completed
- new highway line painting – completed
- slow-moving vehicle pullout east of Muir Creek – completed
- new two-lane bridge on Gillespie Road – scheduled to be completed December 2018
- bus-queue jump lane at Jacklin Road – construction to begin late 2018, scheduled for completion in spring 2019