The City of Colwood has announced it received a $3.6-million grant from the federal and B.C. government to build a pedestrian and cycling overpass for the Galloping Goose over the Island Highway.
The grant is part of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, which provides funding for projects that support public infrastructure, defined as a tangible capital asset primarily for public use and benefit.
The pedestrian and cycling overpass will provide a crossing where currently cyclists and pedestrians have to go to the nearby lights at Wale Road and Island Highway.
“I’m confident this bridge will significantly boost the number of cyclists on the West Shore, which will support health and wellbeing, reduce traffic congestion and help us reach our climate goals,” said Colwood Mayor Rob Martin in a news release.
Corey Burger, policy and infrastructure chair with Capital Bike, says this has been an advocated for almost since the trail was built.
“It’s been an advocacy priority for Capital Bike and then the [Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition] before that, pretty much since the Goose was created in in the 90s,” Burger said in an interview with CHEK News. “Because it was identified as a gap then and you know, it’s taken this long to close, but hey, at least it’s gonna be closed now.”
Burger says one of the things that attract people to cycling on the Goose is that it is an all ages and abilities network, but cycling along the Island Highway is not.
“Island Highway and Wale Road is a very large intersection that sees a lot of crashes and there’s some really high speed traffic moving through it,” Burger said. “So what this overpass does is it eliminates that risk entirely.”
“So, if you’re someone who’s less comfortable riding on the road, or if you’re say, riding with children and you don’t want to get anywhere near the road, this will provide that connection over a very, very busy intersection.”
A Colwood news release says preliminary design for the project calls for the overpass to be 38 metres long and 4.1 metres wide.
The overall project cost is estimated at $4.9M, with the city’s portion being approximately $1.4M and will come from reserve funding the city has set aside for community amenities.
This is the largest single Federal grant that the @cityofcolwood has ever received.
A big “thank you” to city staff for the significant work that made this possible.
Another exciting program that supports @cityofcolwood active transportation goals. https://t.co/5CvdfdxoMt
— Rob Martin (@MayorRobMartin) April 11, 2022
Contstruction on the overpass is estimated to be complete by or before 2026.