The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is reviewing work plans on the realignment of Highway 14 between Connie and Glinz Lake roads in Sooke after commuters were stuck in a long lineup earlier this week as they headed into Victoria.
“That was horrible. I feel for the commuters,” said Mayor Maja Tait, whose email filled with messages from angry commuters.
The lineup stretched as far west as Ed Macgregor Park, and some commuters reported delays of up to three hours on Wednesday (June 2) morning.
According to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, night crews encountered unexpected ground conditions while trenching for a new culvert. The work meant additional excavation was required and delayed the work and the full reopening of the highway until 7:40 a.m. Traffic patterns returned to normal at 9 a.m.
To reduce the likelihood of this situation happening again, ministry contractors are revising their work plans for future culvert installations.
The ministry’s road contracts prohibit traffic interruptions during hours of peak commuter volumes. The contract outlines that the contractor may not plan for any traffic interruptions from 6 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m., to facilitate the east and westbound commuter traffic.
“We appreciate the work needs to be done and that people need to get to work in a reasonable time frame, but two to three hours is way too long,” Tait said.
In the meantime, the $85.7-million project is progressing well, and most vegetation removal is finished across the work area. Rock blasting and excavations are the main work taking place.
The new overpass structure near the 17 Mile Pub is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The highway project is on schedule for completion by the end of next summer.
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