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New handyDART centre in View Royal ‘salmon safe’

Stream that feeds Craigflower Creek runs through the property near Watkiss/Burnside Road West
An aerial view of BC Transit’s new handyDART site at the corner of Burnside Road West and Watkiss Way. (Courtesy of BC Transit)

BC Transit’s new handyDART Centre in View Royal has been certified as “salmon safe.”

The public transit provider says it’s the first site on Vancouver Island to be given the certification, handed out by the non-profit Fraser Basin Council, which assesses urban projects based on their environmental friendliness.

“This is a great example of how we can partner with the community to leave something in better shape than we found it through redevelopment,” Aaron Lamb, BC Transit’s chief sustainability officer and vice-president of asset management, said in a statement.

An assessment team from the Fraser Basin Council visited the construction site in March. They reviewed BC Transit’s environmental management plan, which includes erosion and sediment controls and water quality monitoring.

Located at the corner of Burnside Road West and Watkiss Way in View Royal, a stream that connects to Craigflower Creek runs through the property and managing the waterway was a focal point during the planning stage.

“When we took over the site, the creek area on the property was, I would say, subpar,” Levi Timmermans, director of infrastructure management at BC Transit said in a previous interview with Black Press Media.

Water flow to the creek had been altered in the past by the construction of the Trans-Canada Highway, and the riparian area had become overgrown with invasive plant species.

As part of the environmental management process, back in May around 130 students from nearby Eagleview Elementary planted nearly 500 riparian plants of varying species along the banks of the creek, part of 8,000 plants to be planted along the bank of the creek to help protect against sediment erosion.

The new site is forecast for completion in late 2024 and will increase the capacity for handyDART vehicles to more than 100, up from the current centre’s capacity of around 50. After the View Royal site’s completion, the existing centre on Glanford Avenue in Saanich will be used for other BC Transit operations, with a capacity of 75 to 80 buses. That site was over capacity, according to Timmermans. A project to increase capacity there is in the early planning stages.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: New handyDART centre in View Royal tackling bus capacity, creek challenges

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About the Author: Goldstream News Gazette Staff

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