New interchange being considered for TCH and Shawnigan Lake Road

Project includes interchange and mobility hub

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is planning some major safety upgrades at the intersection of the Trans Canada Highway and Shawnigan Lake Road. (Screen shot)

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is planning some major safety upgrades at the intersection of the Trans Canada Highway and Shawnigan Lake Road. (Screen shot)

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is investigating the possibility of building an interchange at Shawnigan Lake Road and the Trans-Canada Highway.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is looking to improve safety at the intersection by eliminating the existing left-turn movements from Shawnigan Lake Road to the TCH, and the project will also provide an interchange with full-movement access from both sides of the TCH and create a “mobility hub” to expand the transit options in the area.

RELATED STORY: PETITION TO UPGRADE SAFETY AT DANGEROUS TCH INTERSECTIONS IN COWICHAN GETTING BIG RESPONSE

The project includes four main components; a grade-separated alignment for crossing the highway (an interchange), an extension to Whittaker Road, an extension and upgrade of Holker Place, and a mobility hub, where people can switch from one mode of transport to another, and a pedestrian-bridge crossing at the Whittaker Road intersection with the TCH.

The planning concept for the project was developed in 2021 and MoTI has now put out a request for qualifications, the step before a request for proposals, for a consultant to work on design options.

MoTI said in a statement that the issuance of the RFQ for a consultant to work on design options for the project is a common practice by the ministry as part of its project planning.

RELATED STORY: GOVERNMENT COMMITS TO INSTALLING LEFT-TURN SIGNALS AT DANGEROUS INTERSECTIONS IN COWICHAN

“This initial phase of work will support planning and decision making for future projects,” MoTI said.

The ministry gave no indication as to when or if the project will proceed, or how much it is estimated to cost.

This project is not the only one MoTI is planning to deal with dangerous intersections in the same area.

In August, the ministry confirmed that it will place protected left-turn signals at three intersections with the TCH in the Cowichan Valley, north of the Shawnigan Lake Road intersection.

At the time, the ministry said it is moving forward with design work for the installation of north and south-bound protected left-turn signals at Kilmalu Road, Hutchinson Road and Fisher Road’s intersections with the TCH which have seen many accidents over the years, with several resulting in fatalities.

“The ministry will have an update on timelines for these improvements following the completion of the designs later this year,” MoTI said in August.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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