Locals laud ICBC for road improvement cash

ICBC chipped in $310,000 to help municipalities and the provincial government complete a dozen infrastructure projects in the Cowichan Valley last year.

The Town of Lake Cowichan alone was helped out with $65,000 toward the roundabout at the intersection of Cowichan Lake and North Shore roads, as well as $20,000 for improvements along South Shore Road including curbs, gutters, crosswalks and new sidewalks.

“We are thrilled to have ICBC partner with us on this project,” Lake Cowichan Mayor Ross Forrest said. “Every extra contribution is helpful for us. ICBC stepped up big-time to help us, and we really appreciate it. They have been very good to deal with when we have asked for help.”

ICBC teamed up with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on four separate projects in the region, contributing $24,500 toward improvements to signage, pavement marking and lighting at the Youbou Road crosswalk in Lake Cowichan; $23,400 for improvements to lighting at the intersection of the Trans Canada Highway and Miller Road south of Duncan; $21,700 for improvements to lighting at the intersection of the TCH and Deloume Road in Mill Bay; and $15,500 for channelization and turn lanes at the intersection of the TCH and Miller Road south of Duncan.

“This program is a great example of successful partnerships as it brings together numerous stakeholders to help ensure safety remains a top priority when roads and highways are designed or upgraded in communities across the province,” Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone said through a press release.

North Cowichan received $20,000 for each of three projects involving the addition of sidewalks and bike lanes: along Drinkwater and Norcross roads and Beverly Street. The municipality also got $40,000 toward the installation of a roundabout at Kingsview Road and Donnay Drive.

The City of Duncan got $20,000 from ICBC for the addition of sidewalk and curb extensions on Beech Avenue between Marchmont Road and McAdam Park, and another $20,000 for a similar project on Cairnsmore Street between Vista and Nagle streets.

The funding in the Cowichan Valley was part of $1.4 million ICBC contributed to projects on Vancouver Island and $8 million across B.C.

“Everyone benefits from road improvements, from drivers to pedestrians, because safer roads means fewer crashes, which also translates into lower claim costs,” ICBC director of road safety John Dickinson said. “We’ll continue to invest in road safety initiatives that help us keep rates as low as possible.”