Chaplin Road may be spelled wrong on this provincial ministry roadside sign, but the fact work is finally proceeding on the Crofton Road is good news. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Long-awaited Crofton Road improvements finally happening

Paved shoulders on both sides will be a welcome addition

Residents of Crofton and, in fact, the entire Cowichan Valley can hardly believe work on the roller coaster ride roadway into Crofton is finally going to happen.

Signs went up at both ends of the designated area last week. Even though Chaplin Road is spelled incorrectly and it’s actually a street, the roadwork has been such a long time coming people are willing to overlook it.

Those in Crofton may have noticed that the project signs for the Crofton Road resurfacing project have now been installed,” noted Doug Routley, MLA Nanaimo-North Cowichan, who’s been a crusader on getting this project on the priority list.

“This is exciting news for a community that has spent years advocating for road upgrades to the only road in and out of the community. I want to congratulate the community on keeping this issue in the forefront and being strong advocates for change which has helped me ensure this project remained a priority for the Ministry of Transportation.”

The Halalt First Nation had issues that needed to be addressed and it’s also a crucial stretch of road for the abundant traffic in and out of the Catalyst Paper Excellence mill.

“It’ll support their better, more efficient operation, too,” added Routley.

The required archaeological field assessment is currently underway and should be finished soon.

Some tree clearing and minor construction is expected to start next week, according to Routley, which is being done to help make room for the shoulder widening.

“The work that was being done to start planning the relocation of the utility poles, these plans are being finalized and the actual moving of the poles will begin over the next few months,” Routley indicated. “These plans, along with the tree clearing, will help facilitate the 1.2 metre widening of the road, which will allow paved shouldering on both sides of the road.”

That’ll be important to make the road much safer for walkers and cyclists. All utility poles will be located on the south side of the road.

The target date for completion is next summer 2020, but Routley said the time frame for the work could be shorter.

“There’s been a bunch of projects ahead of schedule,” he noted. “I’m hoping this will be one of them.”

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