WATCH: Some setbacks to the new McKenzie interchange project mean commuters will have to put up with construction and traffic congestion for even longer than scheduled. Ceilidh Millar has more.
The completion of the McKenzie interchange has been delayed until 2019 due to challenging weather conditions this past winter, the Ministry of Transportation said Wednesday.
The interchange is now expected to open to traffic by summer 2019, rather than the end of 2018.
Final construction activities will be ongoing throughout the winter.
According to the ministry, the challenging weather conditions during the 2016-17 winter led to the delay as preload materials needed more time to settle before construction could continue.
The ministry also said the timeline of the project was adjusted to lessen traffic and noise impacts along the corridor.
The cost of the project is still expected to be $85 million.
“We’re still on schedule with the budget,” said deputy regional director Janelle Erwin. “This will have no impact.”
Rob Wickson, former president of the Gorge Tillicum Community Association and candidate for Saanich Council, is not surprised by the delay.
“They’ve had all kind of difficulties through this process including noise and flooding problems,” Wickson explained. “We’re all going to have to suffer a little longer now.”
On Wednesday, the province announced Westpro, a division of Pomerleau Inc., has been awarded the final construction contract, worth $42.6 million.
The remaining work at the interchange includes construction of the overpass, ramps and final landscaping.
Once completed, the interchange is expected ease the worst bottleneck in the province outside of the Lower Mainland.
The design is a partial cloverleaf, with the Trans-Canada Highway under McKenzie Avenue.
Work is set to begin on the final stage of the project this fall.