It may seem like the River Road roundabout project in Chemainus has long been stalled, but it’s constantly moving ahead as part of the Chemainus revitalization plan.
The holdup since the project was first proposed has been property acquisitions and significant progress is being made, according to the Municipality of North Cowichan’s Dave Conway, director of engineering and operations.
“We’re still working on the land issues in general,” he said. “Once those are resolved, we’ll be ready to go to the public and show them what we’re doing.”
Land needs to be acquired from Island Timberlands and Western Forest Products on the east side of the intersection. There’s also the issue of Telus overhead wires and underground services to be addressed.
“We’re not looking at just the roundabout,” said Conway. “We’re also looking at improvements toward Henry Road and Victoria Street.
“I’m working at it virtually daily. I’m hoping by early April we’ll be able to bring something to the public. The designs are there.”
Conway conceded it’s always a complicated process when dealing with industrial lands.
Markings can be seen all along Chemainus Road between Henry Road and Victoria Street past the River Road intersection so signs are definitely there about imminent work.
Some residents have suggested a three-way stop or a traffic light at River Road, but neither of those will be happening since the revitalization plan is set.
It’s been an area of continual frustration for motorists, with long lines at times on River Road when it’s busy for attempted left turns onto Chemainus Road. Left-hand turns off Chemainus Road onto River also cause heavy back-ups.
The intersection will be reconfigured substantially eastward once the roundabout is built.