Admirals-McKenzie fix likely a long way off

MLA Rob Fleming questions transportation minister Todd Stone on likelihood of traffic fix at collision-prone intersection

With the province gearing up to launch its 10-year B.C. On the Move transportation infrastructure plan, Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming is hoping some of that cash will be earmarked for the problem intersection of McKenzie-Admirals on the Trans-Canada Highway.

Saanich council voted early last month to establish a transportation working group comprised of the province, regional and local government, community associations and others to begin detailing the steps needed to get traffic flowing smoothly at Vancouver Island’s highest crash count site in 2013, according to ICBC statistics.

Saanich is now waiting to hear back from the provincial government about striking the working group, which is also backed by other Greater Victoria mayors and the Chamber of Commerce.

Fleming recently used question period in the B.C. legislature to question Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone on the availability of funding for the project.

“(People) want a safe intersection and the business community of the South Island wants a smoother, more efficient transportation route for their goods and services,” Fleming said.

Stone responded by saying the McKenzie interchange figured prominently in recent public consultation for the transportation plan. He said there will be some announcements in the coming months but would not include an interchange solution as of yet. In a statement, a transportation ministry spokesperson said funding for the first three years of the 10-year plan is already committed, pending budget approval.

“We heard during our public consultation, as well as from stakeholders up and down Vancouver Island, that improvements to the Highway 1/McKenzie-Admirals intersection are a priority,” the spokesperson said.

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