A nearby through-road could eventually ease congestion at a busy central Nanaimo intersection.
Site clearing work is now underway as part of the Boxwood connector project, though actual road construction is a few years away, according to a City of Nanaimo press release.
The project will extend Boxwood Road far enough to connect Northfield Road with a new roundabout connecting with Rosstown Road and Bowen Road, and a new intersection will be built at the Beban Park entrance. The existing intersection connecting Rosstown and Bowen will be closed.
The city says the project will divert traffic from the busy intersection and improve vehicle circulation.
“Development of the Boxwood connector will take several years, but once complete, will provide improved mobility for all users while reducing traffic congestion through Northfield and Bowen – one of the city’s most challenging intersections,” said Poul Rosen, the city’s senior manager of engineering, in the press release.
The first phase of the project involves tree cutting and environmental work such as building a new storm water pond. That work has started now “in advance of the upcoming bird nesting window,” the press release notes, adding that the trees being cut are on city property and tree replacement is part of the project plans. The city will then allow two years for soil compaction before road construction starts; that work is scheduled to begin in 2022.
The road and intersection designs will support walking, cycling and transit, the city says.
A public information session is planned for April 3, 3:30-7 p.m., at the Beban Park social centre.