Improvements to the five-way intersection at Interurban Road, Wilkinson Road and Hastings Streets will not take place after completion of the Mckenzie Interchange Project. Travis Paterson/News Staff                                Travis Paterson/News Staff

Improvements to the five-way intersection at Interurban Road, Wilkinson Road and Hastings Streets will not take place after completion of the Mckenzie Interchange Project. Travis Paterson/News Staff Travis Paterson/News Staff

Saanich’s worst intersection won’t get better until after summer 2019

District will look at Wilkinson Road and Interurban intersection following completion of interchange

Improvements to one of the busiest and perhaps trickiest intersections in Saanich, if not the entire Greater Victoria region, will have to wait until after the completion of the McKenzie interchange project. That is the message from the District of Saanich.

Harley Machielse, Saanich director of engineering, said the municipality will reassess issues around the Wilkinson-Interurban intersection after improvements to the intersection of Trans-Canada Highway and McKenzie Avenue have wrapped up.

A non-scientific survey of Saanich News readers deemed the intersection of Wilkinson Road and Interurban Road to be the worst area for traffic congestion by 37.5 per cent, ahead of the intersection at Trans-Canada Highway and McKenzie Avenue, which received 25 per cent.

“We expect to gain a new understanding and perspective after the completion of the McKenzie interchange project,” said Machielse. “At that time, we can see how traffic patterns have adjusted in the area.”

The current schedule calls for the completion of the McKenzie interchange project by the summer of 2019 following a series of delays since the official start of the long-anticipated project in September 2016. The project worth $85 million promises to improve the flow of private automobile traffic, as well as public transit through one of the major traffic choke points in the region through the addition of a partial ‘clover-leaf’ system of on and off-ramps and other improvements.

Not surprisingly, ongoing construction has increased congestion on roads in the surrounding area, including the nearby intersection of Wilkinson Road and Interurban Road.

Seen on a map, it connects a series of roads that radiate out like the letter X. Interurban Road roughly runs from Saanich’s southeast towards Saanich’s northwest, linking residential and commercial areas around Uptown with the Interurban campus of Camosun College, currently undergoing considerable, if not rapid expansion.

Wilkinson Road, meanwhile, runs from Saanich’s northeast quadrant with its residential neighbourhood towards the southwest with Wilkinson turning into Helmcken Road on the other side of Interurban. Helmecken, in turn, connects with roads in neighbouring View Royal and other Westshore communities beyond it. East of Highway 17, Wilkinson Road turns into Royal Oak Drive, thereby linking West Shore communities like View Royal with not only Saanich, but other communities on the Saanich Peninsula.

More locally, Hastings Street running east to west intersects the ‘X’ created by Wilkinson Road and Interurban Road, thereby creating a five-way intersection, home to several businesses that serve the immediate Strawberry Vale, Marigold and Glanford neighbourhoods.

In short, the intersection has local and regional significance.

“The … intersection is a particular concern in the region,” said Machielse. “We understand there is significant community interest in improving this area.”

Saanich has consulted with the public about the intersection in the past, he said. “Unfortunately, we did not find a solution that was acceptable to a variety of users, including local residents, commuters, BC Transit, pedestrians and cyclists.” This said, Saanich has not closed the door to future improvements, but only after it has amassed additional data.

“It’s important for us understand the post-construction impacts the Interchange project has on the transportation network before we review the five-way intersection,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rider crosses a “skinny” on the newly opened trail known as 90s Jank, built within the Hartland system by volunteers with the South Island Mountain Bike Society. (Youtube/MTB Matt)
Mountain bikers celebrate first new trail in years on Saanich’s Mount Work

90s Jank trail a product of licence agreement between CRD and mountain bike society

Fire crews respond to the 3500-block of Blanshard Street in Saanich on April 16. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: BC Hydro crews repairing failed electrical equipment in Saanich

Vernon Avenue reopen to traffic following closure

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
Extinction Rebellion activists march from Vancouver to Victoria this weekend

The four-day trek ends at the B.C. legislature Monday, protest province’s environmental policy

The hiring of out-of-province workers by the Canadian Red Cross to staff the vaccination centre in Langford has raised eyebrows. (Black Press Media file photo)
Red Cross hires out-of-province workers to staff Langford vaccination centre

Staffer worries local jobs weren’t offered to local people

The District of Saanich announced April 12 that the Cedar Hill Golf Course clubhouse would remain closed for at least six months for repairs after a flood on Feb. 14 caused by faulty sprinklers. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Faulty sprinklers to blame for second Cedar Hill Golf Course clubhouse closure in just over a year

Saanich facility facing six-month shutdown for flood repairs, course not impacted

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Island woman on fence about vaccine prompted by brother’s death

Leela Harrop of Comox says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Photo by Metro Creative Connection
New campgrounds coming to B.C. parks as part of $83M provincial boost

This season alone, 185 campsites are being added to provincial parks, says Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Most Read