Central Saanich gets $400K grant for Lochside Trail upgrade

Central Saanich gets $400K grant for Lochside Trail upgrade

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding will help upgrade a “critical road crossing” along the Lochside Trail in Central Saanich, according to the district. 

The District of Central Saanich announced Tuesday that it had received $400,000 from the B.C. Active Transporation Infrastructure Grant to connect the trail between Mount Newton Cross Road and Lochside Drive, near the McDonald’s.

The district says construction is expected to start sometime in 2024.

Once completed, the trail will be linked to an upgraded intersection at Mount Newton Cross Road and Lochside Drive, reads a release. This path will be separated from traffic and include a four-way stop with a bike crossing.

The Lochside Trail, a 29-kilometre multi-use pathway, intersects with the Galloping Goose Trail and the first section of the Trans-Canada Trail. It takes users from Saanich to Swartz Bay and vice versa.

Ongoing active transportation upgrades

Even more trail construction is on the way in Central Saanich, where another new path is planned for the area.

The district says it also recently earmarked funding for a separated multi-use trail along Mount Newton Road from the Pat Bay Highway up to Saanichton Village.

“Conceptual drawings are in the works, and public engagement is planned for later this year, with construction expected in 2025,” reads the release.

The district says this second project is worth more than $1 million and was “made possible by a $5.5 million grant from the province’s Growing Communities Fund, a one-time grant allocated to all BC municipalities based on population and growth.”

It adds that both projects are “high priorities” of Central Saanich’s Active Transportation Plan. One will improve access to the Lochside Trail, while the other will create a safer route between the village and Tsawout First Nation.

“Our Council is thrilled to see these critical active transportation projects kicking off and the network coming together,” said Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor.

“Residents want to be able to travel safely without a vehicle, and grant funding is key to making that happen as quickly as possible.”

Residents can learn more about the improvements here.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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