Thursday, February 22, 2024

Construction begins on ambitious roadway makeover in James Bay


James bay is getting a makeover that’ll see major transportation and safety improvements for cyclists and vehicles alike.

Construction is slated  to begin this week that will see updated roadways and new amenities to the residents of James Bay.

The process to bring these changes to the streets of James Bay has been underway since 2021 when about 1,300 residents and community members gave their input about the project during the City of Victoria’s engagement phase of the project.

Most of the work will be to connect much of James Bay to Victoria’s all ages and abilities (AAA) cycling network but the city is tackling additional accessibility issues while they are at it.

The scope of the James bay roadway renovation includes: 

  • painted and protected bike lanes as well as traffic calming on Superior, Montreal and Government Streets 
  • 835 metres of road paving 
  • 15 upgraded crosswalks 
  • An electric vehicle charging station
  • A berry garden that was designed by the community 
  • A new traffic light at the intersection of Belleville and Menzies Streets

“We heard strong support from the public to improve transportation options and safety in James Bay,” said Mayor Marianne Alto.

“This project will connect the neighbourhood with the rest of the City’s AAA cycling network and result in a more welcoming and accessible environment for residents and visitors alike.”

Luckily, Victoria won’t be alone in footing the bill for this ambitious project, the Government of Canada’s Community Building Fund, ICBC and the province will all be joining the city in financing James Bay’s rejuvenation. 

Statistics Canada’s latest census in 2021 shows that more people are using forms of active transportation and so updating the streets to reflect that change became and continues to be a priority for Victoria. 

Additionally, later this year Gorge Road and Fort Street will be getting updated bike lanes to allow those routes to join Victoria’s AAA cycling network. 

The City of Victoria says that all efforts will be made during construction to minimize impacts on residents, visitors, businesses, commuters of events.

Victorians can check the City’s real-time construction map to see what streets are being worked on daily for updates.

Commuters should allow for extra time in their daily routes to accommodate for the construction delays they will be facing.

Curtis Blandy

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