New transit lanes aimed at easing gridlock for buses in Victoria have been put on hold due to rising construction costs.
Work was supposed to begin shortly to add more bus-only lanes on busy sections of Douglas Street — one of the region’s busiest transit corridors with up to 88 buses per hour during peak times.
But the project has been delayed because all of the bids came in at least 30 per cent over the roughly $2.1 million budget for the project.
“There are no companies right now either with manpower, with product, or with enough interest in this project to have come in around the budget,” said Susan Brice, chair of the Greater Victoria Transit Commission.
“People are working and there is a lot being built, and that is a tremendous thing, but it does make it very competitive.”
The plan includes the addition of a southbound transit lane from Tolmie Avenue to Hillside Avenue and a northbound transit lane from Tolmie Avenue to Saanich Road.
The new bus lanes will go out for tender again in the fall after staff have pored over the design to see if there’s a way to reduce the cost of the project, Brice said.
In the meantime, buses will continue to get stuck in the gridlock that is common on Douglas Street during the morning and evening rush hour.
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