Hwy 1 closed
(December 2016/BC Government)

Vancouver Island commuters who frequently use the Highway 1 and Mckenzie Avenue interchange may notice some large developments at the construction site this weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, July 20th-21st, two massive highway bridge spans will be erected on the site in preparation for an eventual bridge deck that will connect McKenzie Avenue with Admirals Road overtop of the existing highway.

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Each of the two bridge spans consist of 15 concrete beams, with each beam weighing 52 – 62 tonnes, according to the province.

The north span will measure 24 metres long, while the south span will be 34 metres long.

Once the beams are in place, crews will begin working on the bridge deck, which will eventually redirect cars above the project site so that crews can finish excavating and constructing the highway below.

No lane closures will be caused by the bridge span installation, though motorists can expect the usual delays associated with the project so far.

The entire interchange project, including the creation of a loop ramp, transit facilities, and landscaping is expected to be complete by summer 2020.

By winter 2019, the province expects to remove the traffic lights at the interchange.

Once complete, the $96-million McKenzie interchange project is expected to save commuters an estimated 20 minutes, says the province.

The project, which first began in 2016, was originally scheduled to complete in late 2018 at a cost of $85 million.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is reminding all drivers to use extra caution around project sites and to follow construction zone speed limits.

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