Construction on the new roadway along the east side of Chemainus Road. (Photo by Don Bodger)

First phase of the Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade nearing completion

Project has continued with alterations for social distancing during construction

Work on the Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade Project is nearing the end of the first phase.

“We’re still on schedule, surprisingly,” said John Dehoop, North Cowichan’s manager of infrastructure. “We’re doing good.”

Some adjustments have been made during the construction in recent weeks to comply with social distancing requirements due to COVID-19. Otherwise, it’s been full steam ahead for the project.

Copcan Civil Ltd. of Nanaimo, the current contractor, is expected to have completed all the underground utility work by the end of the week that includes the sewer replacement, storm main additions, catch basins, Telus underground conduit and water main replacement with new water and sewer services to every property along Chemainus Road.

The scope of the project runs from the roundabout at Henry Road to the Chemainus Theatre and there have been minimal disruptions along Chemainus Road the last several weeks.

“Keeping traffic flowing while you’re doing construction always adds time to it,” said Dehoop.

But crews have done an amazing job with minimal delays to motorists while getting the necessary infrastructure work done.

Related: Chemainus Road upgrade plans to be unveiled

Copcan will be working on the final scope of its work until about May 8. That includes removing and replacing the sidewalk on the west side of the road from Urban Legends to just short of Silvermine on Chemainus at River Road.

Duncan Paving will be pouring and finishing the sidewalk. Pedestrians will be directed to use the Cowichan Trail west of the tracks during that time.

Telus will be relocating the overhead line on the east side of the road into the underground conduits this week.

During the month of May, the tendering process will be conducted for the next phase of the project.

“That’s the remainder of the surface improvements,” noted Dehoop.

A new contract is expect to be awarded in late May for construction of the sidewalks, curbs, roads, River Road roundabout, rain gardens, shrub gardens, streetlights and electrical, landscaping, trees and fencing adjacent to the forestry land. That work will take place from June until mid-October.

The road widening was made possible by the acquisition of private land on the east side of the road from Western Forest Products and Mosaic Forest Management.

Construction

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Traffic control along Chemainus Road. (Photo by Don Bodger)

A look at the finished plan for the Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The widening of Chemainus Road heading north. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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