The original closure of Northwest Bay Road from Gabriola Drive to Terrien Road was expected to last from Aug. 6-15. The road travels through different jurisdictions, with road work on either side causing a double whammy of traffic snares on Monday Aug. 19. (Emily Vance photo)

Nanoose Bay traffic update: paving postponed but closure extended on Northwest Bay Road

Mainroad Contracting halts paving while City of Parksville waits on contractors

Paving on the south end of Northwest Bay Road in Nanoose Bay has been postponed following heavy traffic delays in the area on Monday.

The paving work, which resulted in single-lane alternating traffic leaving Nanoose Bay from the south, was compounded by a City of Parksville closure on the north end of Northwest Bay Road.

Residents reported waiting 30 minutes or more to drive out of Nanoose Bay on Monday morning.

One resident left a complaint with The NEWS via voicemail, saying “there was at least five kilometres of traffic I sat in for a half-hour and moved approximately 50 feet.”

In response, Mainroad Mid Island Contracting LP has delayed its paving work until further notice.

“Once [the City of Parksville] finish their work and the roads open we will re-evaluate based on whether we can go back in there, and we’ll continue on with our paving,” said Dale Martin of Mainroad.

“We’re going to stay out of there until they complete what they need to do.”

The City of Parksville has also announced the road closure on the north end near Craig Creek, expected to re-open Tuesday morning, has been delayed for a second time, citing unforeseeable circumstances and factors outside its control.

The work is being contracted through Island West Coast Exacavation Limited.

Deb Tardiff, city manager of communications, said that Island West has updated their timeline to have the road re-open on Aug. 22. The company did not give a specific time of day when it will re-open.

“People are upset. I absolutely understand that. This is, at this point, out of our control,” said Tardiff.

READ MORE: Nanoose Bay residents miffed as roadwork on Northwest Bay Road causing long delays

The combination of two scheduled projects on the same road has been a logistical headache for those trying to travel in and out of Nanoose Bay.

“We advised the Ministry of Transportation of our work. They were aware of it, they authorized it. They did the same thing at the other end. Obviously the co-ordination wasn’t as good as what it should have been.”

The ongoing work on Northwest Bay Road from Gabriola Drive to Terrien Road was originally slated to wrap up on Aug. 15.

The construction work involves replacement of twin corrugated steel pipe colverts at Craig Creek, an upgrade that was identified back in 2017.

“It’s a big project to replace the culvert, and we’re really limited in the time we can do it because of the legislated fisheries window,” said Tardiff.

The Water Sustainability Act of BC gives a short window where construction of this type can be done.

Once the road is open again, there will be single-lane alternating traffic on the north end of Northwest Bay Road for at least a month, stretching into September.

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