The $85-million project to improve Highway 14 heading west into Sooke remains on time and budget, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
In an emailed statement, the ministry said it expects the project to be “substantially complete” this fall.
The road serves as the only east-west connection on the West Shore and is the only route between Sooke and Greater Victoria. The province announced the improvement project in 2019 and will see a 1.4-kilometre stretch converted to a divided four-lane highway.
The work begins at Connie Road and will see the road rerouted behind the 17 Mile House Pub and merge to the existing Highway 14 at Glinz Lake Road.
“We’re investing in the critical highway infrastructure of this corridor,” wrote the ministry. “This includes investments in transit and cycling improvements, so more people have the option of choosing alternative modes of travel. Once completed, the project will provide much-needed safety and efficiency improvements for travellers and commuters.”
November’s atmospheric river weather event that led to significant flooding and damage to roads throughout much of the province led to some additional work on the project to repair damages. Still, it is not expected to impact the project’s overall schedule.
The remaining work on the project includes rock blasting, road grading, electrical upgrades, environmental restoration, paving and the construction of a park and ride lot near 17 Mile Pub. Construction of the park and ride begins this summer.
However, significant chunks of the project are expected to be completed between now and then. In the coming weeks, wetlands restoration is scheduled to begin near Glintz Lake Road.
By May, blasting, road grading, and Pub Bridge construction are expected to have progressed enough to allow traffic to start flowing on the new road section. A temporary intersection will be in place for traffic heading to and from Gillespie Road once traffic flows over the bridge.
By the summer, road lighting improvements to allow for better nighttime visibility along the Glinz Lake Road section of the highway are expected to be complete, and barrier installation and temporary marking will begin.
“Construction of a pedestrian tunnel just east of Glinz Road will continue during summer 2022. This will ensure safety for pedestrians who wish to cross the highway and access bus stop locations.”