The city is asking motorists to be patient, slow down and follow traffic signs and personnel as the reconstruction of West Victoria Street began on Monday.
The $13-million project, which could last to two years, will see replacement of underground utilities, road rehabilitation, pedestrian and lighting improvements and landscaping. The multi-phase project began at the east end of the corridor, near First Avenue.
On Monday morning, traffic from the North Shore was backed up on Overlanders Bridge as commuters travelled south over the Thompson River. Traffic from downtown heading west on West Victoria Street appeared to be moving without delays.
While vehicular access to local businesses has been maintained on the First Avenue block, commuters are being rerouted through West Seymour Street. That three-lane road is traditionally one-way heading east, but has temporarily been changed to allow traffic to flow in both directions, with one lane travelling west.
The speed limit in the area has been reduced to 30 km/h.
“We’re asking motorists to use the zipper merge when approaching the construction zone. Drivers are encouraged to use both lanes until the point of merge and then to take turns to ease safely and smoothly into the remaining lane,” city capital projects manager Darren Crundwell said in a press release. “By maximizing the full use of two lanes until the point of merge, congestion can be reduced and help keep traffic flowing.”
Construction will take place Mondays to Fridays from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with weekend and night work also possible.
One lane will be maintained in each direction throughout the construction zone. Transit and emergency vehicles will be given priority access from Second Avenue through the construction zone.
For more information on the project, click here.