The realignment of Highway 14 will continue into the fall of 2022, say government officials. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)

EDITORIAL: Smoother roads ahead with infrastructure upgrades

Projects getting completed more during than COVID than before

One of the amazing things since the pandemic is the local work being completed that, for some reason, never happened before.

The realignment of Highway 14 to Sooke has been in the works in one form or another over the last 30 years, but ironically the work started while COVID restrictions have been in effect.

No one is disputing the need for this upgrade. It’s just strange it took so long, and COVID seemed more like a time when the government wouldn’t start infrastructure, rather than the opposite that’s transpired.

The new highway will take an arc north of the 17 Mile for a four-lane stretch to Glinz Lake Road, removing dangerous curves and the difficult turn at Gillespie Road. The improvements are also expected to trim commute times for Sooke’s growing population.

The current route past the pub will be repurposed as an extension to Connie Road. A westbound exit off the new highway will loop northeast of the 17 Mile around a pond and continue through an underpass beneath the new road to provide a new route to Gillespie Road, taking vehicles through to Roche Cove on to Metchosin and East Sooke.

Simultaneously, the new $7-million Sooke library along Wadams Ways is beginning to take shape. Talk about a long-overdue project.

People have complained about Sooke Road’s hazardous conditions for eons and the lack of a good library for what seems just as long.

The Sooke Region has a lot to offer. These infrastructure improvements will go a long way toward making all aspects of the communities more pleasant for residents and tourists when they return from COVID hibernation.

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