(File photo)

Construction season is almost upon us. 

It’s the second year of a decade worth of work on Victoria’s underground pipes and infrastructure downtown.

Blanshard Street is the focus this year, specifically between Caledonia Avenue and Fort Street.

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This project, funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF), is expected to cost approximately $53.8 million over its 10-year scope of work. 

Construction will begin in the coming weeks and will end until next year near the end of summer 2023.

The project will see old traffic equipment updated and new road markings for pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists are also to be upgraded along with a new, fresh asphalt roadway. 

Mayor Marianne Alto knows and has continued with the previous mayor and council’s efforts to upgrade our underground pipes and infrastructure.

“Resilient cities have resilient underground systems,” said Mayor Alto. 

“Renewing and upgrading our underground infrastructure is critical to protect our communities and ensure our core water, sewer and stormwater services can be maintained in the event of an earthquake or a climate change event.” 

Blanshard Street isn’t the only Victoria road that will be getting torn up for the sake of improvement in 2023. 

Other projects planned for this summer are the Chatham Street Sewer Pump Station, replacing sanitary sewers on some of Cook Street and the rehabilitating of a sanitary sewer on Store Street.

“Strengthening and renewing our underground infrastructure is not only key to protecting the high quality water, sewer and stormwater services everyone relies on everyday, it is vital to ensure the health and resiliency of Victoria for years to come,” said Philip Bellefontaine, Director of Engineering and Public Works. 

“Major projects such as these will minimize future infrastructure costs, serve our growing community and help keep us safe during climate and seismic events.” 

The additional projects are replacing infrastructure that is over 100-years-old in some cases. 

The City of Victoria says that contractors will try their best to minimize effects to motorists and commuters downtown but that people should plan for delays resulting from the upcoming construction.

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