(Trans Canada highway past Leigh Road/Google Maps)

Work to improve safety along a stretch of Trans-Canada Hwy in Westshore will commence next month, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The project will widen the highway from three lanes to four or two kilometres from Leigh Road to West Shore Parkway.

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The additional lane will continue through the West Shore Parkway intersection, with the northbound merge relocated to the Goldstream Park side of the signal.

This is meant to reduce northbound traffic congestion that is customary at this intersection during rush hour.

A concrete median barrier is also being added to 1.2 kilometres of the highway to separate opposing lanes of traffic and further improve safety.

The project will begin late September and will be conducted by Windley Contracting of Nanaimo who has been awarded a $9.7-million contract.

The cost of these safety improvements is being shared by the federal and provincial governments, with the Government of Canada providing $4.75 million while the province of BC is providing the remaining $4.95 million.

Completion is expected in 2021, and once the construction schedule is finalized, the ministry will advise motorists how this work might affect traffic flow.