What Does YOUR McKenzie Interchange Look Like?

McKenzie Traffic

The wait is over – idle no more. It’s time to get moving on the McKenzie Interchange Project.

The planning stage starts with you, and a public consultation process focused on collecting your ideas for a new interchange that will relieve what is known as the province’s most infamous bottleneck outside of the Lower Mainland.

What now?

Well, a few things are beginning in order to collect public feedback on the design of Victoria’s new Highway 1 interchange:

  1. We launched a new website to communicate details of the project as they unfold while receiving your feedback.
  2. The project team is receiving your ideas, concerns and other feedback: mckenzieinterchange@gov.bc.ca
  3. The first public open house is set for November 17 between 3-7 p.m. at St Joseph Worker Parish Hall. On the day of the open house, we’ll be posting preliminary concepts to the website for your review.

We’re consulting with the public because we want to ensure the final interchange meets your needs. Simple as that. We’re also meeting with First Nations, local governments and stakeholders throughout design and construction.

What’s happened so far?

We’ve completed preliminary technical work already, so we have data on things like the depth, type and consistency of the soils and rock in the area. We’ve also analysed traffic counts and are tracking noise levels to help reduce its impact on nearby homes and schools.

Our engineers are now reviewing the info to help determine what the configuration of the highway should look like.

McKenzie Interchange Timeline

Meanwhile, we’re looking into potentially sensitive ecosystems and species at risk to ensure the project has as little impact to the area as possible. We’re also doing archeological fieldwork with First Nations to identify any possible archeological sites.

Of course, it’s early in the project. There’s a LOT of work to be done before traffic is moving on the McKenzie Interchange. But there’s also a lot to look forward to:

  • Passenger and commercial vehicles will get to where they’re going faster.
  • Public transit will move people more efficiently.
  • The corridor will be safer.
  • Less idling will lead to less fuel consumption and emissions.
  • People who bike and walk in the area will do so more safely.
  • The project needs workers, which means more jobs.

Please tell us: what does your McKenzie Interchange look like? What are your priorities? Concerns? It all starts here.

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Page 1 of 18 comments on “What Does YOUR McKenzie Interchange Look Like?”

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    • Hello Rita,

      Thank you for your question. We shared it with our environmental management group and they let us know that, impacts to wildlife passage corridors were not identified in the environmental assessment for the project and therefore, no wildlife underpasses were considered. The Colquitz River provides the main wildlife corridor in this area and there is access under the highway for the river and wildlife at the Interurban Road underpass at the east end of the project area. We hope that this helps!

  1. I don’t understand the project management plan when:

    1. October 31, 2018 update says “The entire interchange project…is on schedule to wrap up by the end of 2019.”
    2. May 14, 2019 update (only 7 months later) says “project….is now expected to finish by summer 2020”.
    What is causing the delay? 7months from one update to another, and a loss of 7 months on the project….and it is now $11 million over budget. I just finished a $500 million dollar project (a month early compared to original schedule and under original budget)…so how does Pomerleau miss its objectives so badly in such a short time for a relatively compact project? As an example, They needed the entire night on Monday Sep 30 to lift only 1 span into place…this is poor project management.
    When is the underpass really to be opened? and what is the real expected project spend?. When project schedule blows up, budgets blow up. Obviously the wrong selection of general contractor.

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for your questions about the McKenzie Interchange project.

      This is a tremendously important project for the people of Southern Vancouver Island, and we know that everyone who drives through this intersection is looking forward to the new interchange’s completion.

      Due to unforeseen factors, the completion timeline has shifted. We now anticipate removing the traffic lights on Highway 1 by this upcoming winter. The entire project, including the loop ramp, landscaping and transit facilities, is now expected to finish by summer 2020.

      During construction last winter, crews encountered significant weather events on the South Island, including heavy snow fall. Around spring, crews discovered highly variable rock while digging under the existing intersection. As a result of the discovery, modifications were made to the overall design of the interchange’s new centre pier. This pier will hold the bridge that will carry east-and-west bound traffic over the intersection. In addition, construction schedules were adjusted to lessen both traffic and noise impacts, and this affected the overall project schedule.

      We anticipate that these unforeseen delays will result in an increased budget. The ministry is working with our contractor on-site to determine the exact dollar figures related to these delays and how these costs will be recuperated.

      We apologize for the inconvenience that this delay is causing and we continue to work closely with the contractor on-site to deliver the project as soon as possible.

  2. Colin Magee (March 30 post) mentioned several issues project. Given the progress since Colin’s post, Are the traffic lights still programmed to be removed this winter…please give a date…you should have a definite date by now.

    • Good morning David! The project remains on schedule to open highway one to free flowing traffic this winter. As this is a very complex and multi staged process we are not able to give an exact date as of yet. The next significant step for traffic will be placing the Admirals Road and McKenzie Avenue traffic on the new bridge which is nearing completion.

  3. October 18 was certainly bit optimistic. With only approximately 10 people (I count them every day) working on the project on any day it will like be late 2020 before the project is anywhere near completion . Under resourced, badly designed and poorly executed. I would like to know if the problem lies with the prime contractor for not issuing sufficiently resourced subcontracts or the ministry for underfunding the project. The recent traffic restricting changes to Burnside Road West intersection are creating traffic snarls on Burnside road west, Marigold and Mackenzie that are horrendous .

  4. With 2 lights on Admirals rd crossing the highway and having to contend with the cloverleaf of those leaving the highway to continue up Mackenzie, traffic on Admirals will be worse. Thanks for those of us that live on or off Admirals Rd.

  5. this project NEEDS to be completed at night time. production would be increased by traffic not interfering with graders, pavers, 1000’s of dump trucks everyday, therefore time and valuable money would be saved, and delays would be minimal. frustration levels of commuters would also be minimal due to not having to wait for said construction vehicles. people already dont look forward to doing this commute…please dont torture them with day time construction. somebody im sure will go postal

    • Hello Tyler,

      Thanks for connecting with us here. While there may be some project work carried out at night, we expect that a large part of construction on the new interchange will happen during daylight hours. That being said, our project goal is to maintain existing travel times during peak periods during construction, as well as minimize delays and maximize predictability for commuters.

      Keeping traffic moving through the construction site will be a high priority along with minimizing additional short-cutting of traffic through neighbourhoods, and these will be addressed in both the design considerations and construction staging. Possible strategies include: building ramps first to use as detours, keeping the construction schedule as short as possible, using visual screens to keep construction activities separate from traffic. We will ensure that any planned delays or closures are well advertised and communicated so that commuters can plan around those times.

  6. I hope that the planners are factoring in what the traffic will look like at completion of the project because the density of it now is bound to have increased by then. Also, we are in an earthquake zone and if steel is needed (and I am sure it will be) get it right the first time. Further more in final analysis, if the chosen design has any traffic lights included, than we are not fixing anything. The object here is to allow traffic to flow. Food for thought!!!

  7. I’ve been through this intersection, once. What a cluster mess to say the least, makes things on the lower mainland seem tame but I digress. Can’t wait to see what the final design is though as I have no clue as to interchange design.

  8. As well as an overpass for the TCH over Admirals/McKenzie there should be free flow for southbound highway 1 toward McKenzie Avenue and the Pat Bay highway with a direct flyover ramp. There also needs to be grade separation at Burnside and McKenzie and a grade separated trail for the Galloping Goose trail through the interchange.

  9. I don’t know what the interchange should look like, but please don’t make it like the one at the airport. It’s very confusing.