Wilkinson Road Corridor Improvements

Start: June 6, 2016

End: February 2017

Last Updated: October 28, 2016

Category: Roads & Transportation (See all projects in this category)

Budget:

Project Description:

Saanich is replacing the Wilkinson Road Bridge, upgrading Wilkinson Road and extending the Colquitz River Trail. 

The aim of this project is to:

  • Upgrade Wilkinson Road from Mann Avenue to the Quick’s Bottom Trail connections (near 4467 Wilkinson Road). The upgrading would see the installation of curbs, sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides of the road where possible;
  • Replace the existing bridge over the Colquitz River with a new bridge; and
  • Extend the Colquitz River Trail from Casa Linda Drive to Wilkinson Road.

Wilkinson Road, classified a Major Road in the Official Community Plan accommodates:

  • Approximately 15,000 vehicles per day
  • A high use transit route
  • An increasing number of cyclists and pedestrians

This area has been designated as a strategic corridor by the Capital Regional District (CRD). The high traffic volume, together with limited pedestrian and cycling facilities inhibits the balance between transportation modes along this route.

Project Status:

Update October 27, 2016

The Wilkinson Bridge Replacement / Colquitz Trail Extension project remains on schedule with project completion identified for February 2017. The road portion of the project is 50% complete and the trail portion is 70% complete.

The latest schedule indicates that the road portion of the project will not be opened to traffic until early February 2017. Our original goal was to have the road open to traffic (with minor delays and alternating single lanes during the working day) at the end of November 2016. 

This change in schedule was influenced by constraints in winter paving ability and  complexities in coordinating third party utilities.

Safe passage for all users is a key aspect to reopening the roadway to travel. This means the roadway surface requires a good asphalt base plus safety features such as bridge side rails and vehicle crash barriers. 

We are working diligently to try to have the road opened as soon as possible. Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists are asked to continue using existing alternate routes until further notice. Note that signs are in place to guide you through the detour route. Please obey all traffic control personnel.

The Colquitz River Trail extension is on schedule with the contractor finalizing details for the construction of the elevated boardwalk portions. The Parks Department has undertaken a significant amount of invasive species removal along the trail alignment. Working with the community and a stewardship group, these areas will be replanted with native trees and under story species. Please contact the Parks Department if you are interested in participating with this restoration work.

Background

Installed in 1935:
The existing structure was installed in 1935 over the Colquitz River at Lindsay Street. It has concrete walls with a concrete roof sitting on the walls. 

A 2010 condition review by a bridge/structural consultant indicated:

  • Structural deficiencies in the wing walls
  • A poor sidewalk on the east side
  • Moderate vulnerability in a seismic event

Envisioned in 1967:
The Colquitz River Trail system, identified in the Official Community Plan and the Parks Master Plan was planned to connect Cuthbert Holmes Park to Elk / Beaver Lake Park and to protect this urban waterway. Much of the initial construction was completed by the end of the 1970’s. To extend the trail we have continued to actively acquire property along the entire length of the river, when available. 

Concept Plan began in May of 2012:
Saanich applied for a Federal Gas Tax grant (General Strategic Priorities Fund [GSPF]) to undertake the project. A design team and environmental consultant were hired in mid 2013. During that time, we also began our geotechnical and archaeological investigations.