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Plan for proposed pedestrian overpass in North Cowichan unveiled

The location, home to several businesses, including restaurants, is expected to get busier when the new Quw’utsun Secondary School opens in September

A proposed pedestrian overpass would give high school students and others and others a safer way to cross a busy section of the Trans-Canada Highway in North Cowichan.

The overpass would cross the highway between Beverley Street and the James Street/York Road intersections.

The location, home to several businesses, including restaurants, is expected to get busier when the new Quw’utsun Secondary School opens in September.

North Cowichan Mayor Rob Douglas said there is concern about more students crossing the highway from the expanded school to get to eateries on the other side — something he did when he attended the school more than 20 years ago.

The Ministry of Transportation recently unveiled its plan for the overpass at a public-information session at Quamichan School in Duncan.

The overpass will be on the council agenda in a few weeks, Douglas said.

The idea of a pedestrian and cycling overpass at the site has been discussed for the past few years. A management plan for the highway corridor, from Beverly Street to Boys Road, was created 10 years ago in consultation with the City of Duncan and the Transportation Ministry.

The ministry has said that about 30 per cent of pedestrian crossings in the area that would be served by the overpass are unsafe, even with signs indicating restrictions.

The ministry plans to continue consulting with First Nations, area residents and businesses, followed by finalizing of the design and securing funding for construction.

Further details of the project are available at gov.bc.ca/ northcowichanoverpass.

jbell@timescolonist.com