(McKenzie Interchange photo rendering/BC Government)

The McKenzie Interchange is about to hit a new milestone Thursday night when construction crew open the new bridge over the Trans Canada Highway.

Starting at 8 p.m., the contractor will start the process of moving traffic from the current McKenzie Avenue/Admirals Road alignment over to the new bridge.

See also: Trans Canada Hwy lane closures planned during McKenzie overpass construction 

According to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Trans Canada Hwy will be reduced to single lane traffic and experience lane closures overnight as line painting is completed and traffic is redirected.

All work is expected to be finished by morning rush on Friday.

Over the past week, authorities tested traffic signal timing and will continue to monitor signal timing on the new alignment to make sure traffic flows as efficiently as possible.

Diverting traffic to the bridge will allow the contractor to complete the excavation and construction of the Trans Canada Hwy.

See alsoProvince issues apology for further delay in completion of McKenzie interchange project

The Saanich McKenzie interchange project originally began in September 2016 with an $85 million budget and expected completion by late 2018.

Since then, the project has been delayed twice and $11 million has been added to the budget.

Schedule delays caused by several “unforeseen factors”, like significant weather events on the island (ie. heavy snowfall), and the discovery of highly variable rock under the existing intersection, are among reasons why the interchange costs more time and money to complete.

Once completed, the entire McKenzie interchange project is expected to save commuters about 20 minutes while travelling from downtown Victoria to the western communities.