Nanaimo council swaps land for new roundabout

NANAIMO – Traffic circle would provide access to development at Linley Valley West subdivision.

The City of Nanaimo will swap land for a dollar with a Rutherford Road property owner as it revs up for construction of a new roundabout this spring.

In a push to improve access, the city will build a new connector road into the Linley Valley West subdivision and phase in Nanaimo’s first multi-lane or “spiral” roundabout. It will begin as a single-lane roundabout and expand when capacity requires it.

Detailed design work for the project has found the city needs land from a neighboring property for northbound approach lanes and sidewalk, a city report shows. City council agreed Monday to exchange 640.6 square metres of its surplus land at 5290 Rutherford Rd. for 686.9 square metres of land with the owner of 5200 Rutherford Rd.

The swap will cost a dollar, but the city is responsible for survey and legal costs tied to the exchange, estimated at $10,000.

The roundabout will be at Nelson and Rutherford roads. While it will open with one lane, ultimately drivers will see two through lanes in a north-south direction on Rutherford Road, which has the dominant traffic flow, and one lane going east-west between Nelson and Linley Valley Drive, according to Chris Lang, project engineer for City of Nanaimo.

The project is budgeted at $2.28 million, with two developers kicking $230,000.

Lang said construction is scheduled to start in April, with a big milestone to have the roundabout essentially open and functional by Sept. 1. The city would like to have to connector open by Dec. 1.