(Trans Canada highway past Leigh Road/Google Maps)

Motorists are being advised to be wary of delays as workers begin construction on the Trans Canada Highway safety improvement project on Saturdays.

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

See also: Safety improvements to Trans-Canada Hwy in Westshore will begin late September

Drivers who use this stretch of the highway will continue to experience delays of up to 20 minutes between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on weekdays.

But as work begins on Saturdays, there will also be delays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturdays through spring 2020.

As crews work on the northbound shoulder, drivers will continue to experience single-lane traffic in each direction from 9 a.m. until close of work each weekday, and from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturdays.

There will be no stoppages southbound until 9 a.m. and no northbound stoppages between 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays in order to accommodate rush hour.

Background

The $9.7 million project is expected to improve safety on the aforementioned stretch of highway.

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.

Windley Contracting of Nanaimo was awarded the contract for the project which began in late September 2019.

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.

It is expected to be completed in 2021.