By Todd Stone
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
Vancouver Island is a large island with many diverse communities, natural beauty and economic opportunities.
As the economy continues to grow on the island, it’s important that our infrastructure keeps pace by strengthening our transportation networks, to further improve safety, mobility and efficiency for those that live on the island and for tourists visiting from other places.
That’s why the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is committed to improving the safety and mobility of travel on the island,
by land, rail, air and sea.
Our total transportation investment and commitments (together with federal and local partners) for Vancouver Island over the last two
years is over $200-million. This investment includes large infrastructure projects such as the recently announced McKenzie
interchange project and safety improvements to the Malahat.
Together with the Government of Canada, we have committed a combined $85-million for the construction of an overpass on the Trans-Canada Highway at McKenzie Avenue. We need to fix this bottleneck, and that’s what we are doing with this project. The interchange will improve safety and efficiency for drivers, and it will improve safety on the popular Galloping Goose trail, which crosses the intersection.
The ministry continues to invest in the Malahat, with the recent completion of the latest $15-million project, which involved widening
the highway and installing 2.3 kilometres of median barrier from Shawnigan Lake Road north to the Malahat Summit. With this completion, more than 50% of the Malahat is now divided by median barrier.
Other important highway projects include the upcoming $22-million Westshore Parkway Extension, the $2.5-million Highway 19 Nanaimo
Parkway intersection safety improvements, the $8-million multi-year rehabilitation to Nimpkish River Bridge on Highway 19, and the $5.6-
million Saunders Bridge replacement on Highway 28.
Improving transit remains a key focus, and transit priority will be a key component of the new McKenzie interchange. We have started the
design on the Highway 1 – Douglas Street bus priority lane project, which will extend the existing bus lanes on Douglas Street northwards
from Tolmie Avenue. We are also making transit upgrades such as bus stop improvements up and down the island.
We are also investing in cycling safety, with over $2.3 million in BikeBC funding for the island over the last two years. Recent island
cycling announcements include two cyclist/pedestrian bridges in Victoria, and new bike paths in Saanich, Langford, Port Alberni, Comox,
and the Cowichan Valley. These projects are part of $18 million that BikeBC will invest over the next three years.
We have affirmed our commitment to providing $7 million to the Island Corridor Foundation for upgrades to the E&N Rail Line. The B.C.
government’s pledge means the railway is one step closer to resuming an operational passenger rail service.
We are continuing to make investments in ferry and airport infrastructure, to support international travel to and from the island.
We will be upgrading the Belleville Ferry Terminal ($17.4 million investment – cost shared with the Black Ball Ferry Line and Clipper
Navigation Ltd.) to support ferry services between Victoria and U.S. destinations.
As our coastal ferry service is an integral part of the transportation network connecting Vancouver Island, we are working hard to support our vision of a system that’s affordable, efficient and sustainable for future generations. We continue to provide substantial financial
support to BC Ferries, with taxpayer funding at about $200 million a year, and have worked hard to get annual fare increases for the next
four years down to 1.9% per year, the lowest they’ve been in a decade.
Also, the ministry is investing $1.27 million for runway lighting upgrades to the Long Beach Airport in Tofino, as part of the BC Air
All of these investments show that Vancouver Island transportation is a priority, and the ministry will continue to make the island a key focus through new and upgraded infrastructure.
View the infographic here: https://flic.kr/p/AjUt6q
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect