WATCH: Drivers on Highway 1 can expect more delays as the McKenzie Interchange project progresses this fall. Ceilidh Millar reports.
Drivers should brace themselves for more construction-related delays at the McKenzie Interchange site in the coming months.
Janelle Staite, Regional Deputy Director of the South Coast Region with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, says back-to-school traffic and construction on the highway alignment are expected to alter traffic patterns on the Trans-Canada highway this fall.
“When September starts up again we see summer traffic change,” Staite said. “We are at a sight where there are three schools in this area, so that does change traffic patterns through here.”
Crews have officially hit the halfway point on the construction which began in 2016, but there is still a lot more work to be done on the project that promises to improve traffic flow at the busy intersection.
“We’re lowering the highway seven metres from where it is currently to be able to allow for the construction of the future interchange,” Staite explained.
Beginning this November, ramps will be installed to detour southbound traffic off highway one as crews begin to install the interchange.
Later this month, sound walls will be installed as crews try to address noise concerns from those living in the area.
“We recognize that 85,000 cars a day generates quite a bit of noise,” Staite said. “We did a noise assessment as part of the project and identified areas where we need to be putting sound walls to be able to mitigate that noise for the residents who are living in close proximity.”
The project completion date was pushed back a year due to poor weather in the winter of 2017.
Work will also begin on widening McKenzie Avenue, installing a dual right turn and building the permanent pedestrian bridge next spring.
If all goes according to plan, the $85-million project will be completed by the end of 2019.