One question lingered for many Saanich Peninsula residents after the province announced the possible construction of a “flyover” overpass at Pat Bay Highway and Keating Cross Road.
Will the East Saanich Road exit off the Pat Bay Highway be closed? According to design sketches recently released on the province’s website, the answer is yes.
Several other roads in the area that allow traffic to enter or exit Pat Bay Highway will also be closed off in the area, including Danica Place and Gliddon Road.
The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure first announced funding for a new overpass from Pat Bay Highway (Highway 17) northbound to Keating Cross Road westbound back in August 2019.
This flyover would eliminate the need for drivers to cross the busy highway when turning onto Keating Cross Road. The East Saanich Road exit is just several meters north of the Keating exit which also requires motorists to cross over into oncoming traffic.
Province seeks feedback
The provincial government is now looking for feedback about the proposed improvements to the Patricia Bay Highway northbound at Keating Cross Road.
Every hour, hundreds of drivers turn left across heavy traffic on Highway 17 to get onto Keating Cross Road, causing safety issues and traffic bottlenecks.
As well, with projected population growth and planned industrial and commercial development in the area, traffic congestion is expected to increase.
The proposed flyover overpass would eliminate the left turn across highway traffic.
The project will also create a realigned southbound on-ramp to the Pat Bay Highway southbound and bus-on-shoulder facilities to support future plans for bus rapid transit on the highway.
In addition, Keating Cross Road will be widened, including the sidewalks, to improve traffic conditions for people using the overpass.
The federal government has contributed over $16.7 million to this project, while the District of Central Saanich is providing $2.5 million.
Preliminary engineering work on the overpass flyover project at Pat Bay Highway and Keating Cross Road began in June 2020.
Construction is expected to start sometime later this year.
Feedback is being accepted until March 24th. To leave feedback and for more information on the project, click here.