Highway 14 (known locally and colloquially as the Sookahalla), has seen a lot of work lately. The road connects Victoria with Sooke and many communities along the Island’s west coast. These areas have really been growing in popularity, with the inevitable result – more traffic.
And by traffic, we don’t mean just vehicles. The number of pedestrians and cyclists using the road is growing, too. To make things safer for them, a major focus of our efforts has been to widen the road’s shoulders. Widening the road also has other benefits, like making oncoming traffic easier to see, and giving us a chance to make better transit pullouts so buses can pull off the road completely to let other traffic by.
But road widening is not always an easy task. Many sections have steep hills on one side and sudden drop offs on the other. The only practical way to widen the road is to cut into the hillside and remove tonnes of rock and earth, which can make progress slower and more costly than it would be otherwise.
Other projects we’ve been doing along the route went well. Bridges have been replaced, new crosswalks and guardrails have been put in and better signs have been put up.
So next time you’re headed out along Highway 14, check out our work and see what you think. And if you haven’t been along that route before, put it on your list as one to drive. The scenery is beautiful, and it’s a great introduction to Vancouver Island’s wild and rugged coast.