Craigflower Bridge closure opens up alternative travel means for commuters

Artist's rendering of the new Craigflower Bridge

The 80-year-old Craigflower bridge is due to be replaced this year and will result in further traffic delays during its closure from Mary to December, 2013. The above image is an artist’s rendering of the new bridge.

Time is running out for the 80-year-old timber trestle Craigflower Bridge as the District of Saanich and the Town of View Royal are readying to replace it with a modern, aesthetic and functional steel bridge.

The bridge will be closed from approximately May 1 to Dec. 1, 2013. The first phase, the construction of a temporary pedestrian bridge for local school children and cyclists, begins April 15.

In anticipation of the bridge closure, commuters to the base are encouraged to look at alternatives to using their vehicles for travelling to and from work, as it is expected traffic around the bridge will be substantially disrupted.

“We closed Admirals Road in 2009 when we built the bridge over Colquitz, so we have a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen,” says Jim Hemstock, project manager at the Saanich District Engineering Office. “About 80 per cent of people will have to go over to Tillicum and about 20 percent will go the other way over toward Helmcken or Six Mile.” 

This will cause traffic choke points in those areas and significant delays surrounding Craigflower Road, Admirals Road and Lampson Street. The evening traffic is anticipated to be even less appealing with heavy trucks coming from the base being diverted onto Craigflower Road, essentially transforming Island Highway and Helmcken Road into temporary truck routes.

 The good news is there are alternatives for commuters to avoid the traffic chaos, especially for those in the Western Communities travelling to CFB Esquimalt.

For example, the Victoria Regional Transit System has bus routes (#6, #24, and #25) departing the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre and travelling to different locations around the base.

With common destinations and schedules, carpooling is also a viable option.

For the more athletically motivated, the Galloping Goose Trail offers bicyclists a direct route to the base.

Bicycles are also permitted on the Baseline Connector Ferry, which offers one of the quickest and most efficient alternatives to driving, with regular sailings from D-Jetty at Colwood to Dockyard and Naden. For DND and Victoria Shipyard employees, the Baseline Connector is a reliable, cost-effective and proven means of transportation found to be indispensable by regular passengers.

Despite extended traffic disruptions, the outcome of the lengthy bridge construction project will greatly improve overall traffic flow and enhance the beautiful Gorge Waterway making the new bridge an attractive and important component in the landscape. The new planned bridge will have three vehicle lanes, and cycling and pedestrian lanes on either side with the downstream side of the bridge curving gently outward allowing for a wide amenity space for water viewing and fishing.

Hemstock explained that, by late May, regular traffic updates surrounding the construction project will be found on the District of Saanich website ( and through a Twitter account.

-A/SLt Ron MacDougall, BPAO Trainee

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.