The seismic retrofit on the Koksilah River Bridge is beginning the transition from phase two to phase three. (Google Earth)

The seismic retrofit on the Koksilah River Bridge is beginning the transition from phase two to phase three. (Google Earth)

Koksilah River Bridge work completion pushed back to end of February

As of Dec. 3, traffic will not be able to turn right onto the highway from Cowichan Bay Road.

In June, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced seismic upgrades for the Koksilah River Bridge, a non-descript bridge roughly 3.5 kilometres south of Duncan.

Shortly thereafter, work commenced and throughout the summer, motorists had to endure backups at the both Silver Bridge construction/painting zone and then almost immediately again near the Cowichan Bay turnoff as a result of work being done to both bridges concurrently.

The frustration will continue into the new year.

The ministry has confirmed the completion date for the Koksilah bridge has been changed.

“The Koksilah River Bridge project on Highway 1 is now scheduled to be completed in early 2019,” said a ministry spokesman.

In this case, early 2019 means by the end February.

“The original completion date of late 2018 was pushed back due to a few different factors, including weather, rising water levels and ensuring the project meets provincial earthquake standards,” said the ministry.

What’s more, as of Dec. 3, traffic will not be able to turn right onto the highway from Cowichan Bay Road. The southbound left-hand turn lane from the highway onto Cowichan Bay Road has already been closed for months.

Traffic will, however, remain free to turn right from the highway’s northbound lanes onto Cowichan Bay Road.

Bench Road continues to be the recommended detour.

“We understand that this bridge is a main artery for the Cowichan Valley and we thank drivers, pedestrians and cyclists for their continued patience as we work to improve the safety and long-term stability of the bridge,” said the spokesman.

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