To keep traffic flowing during the 5th Street Bridge Project, and to ensure emergency responders, school buses and transit vehicles can cross as quickly as possible, new priority lanes are in place at both ends of the bridge to allow these vehicles to bypass any congestion caused by construction.
The bridge has been reduced to single lane traffic in alternating directions, from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. until mid-May for scaffolding installation. The single lane alternating traffic will then increase to 24 hours per day until October.
Courtenay volunteer firefighters will be permitted to use priority lanes in their personal vehicles when responding to an emergency incident.
Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said the priority lanes will only be used by firefighters while responding to an active emergency.
“In an emergency, every second counts and the priority lanes will help our volunteer firefighters get to the fire hall on Cumberland Road in their personal vehicles as quickly as possible,” he said. “A personal vehicle in the priority lane is likely one of our firefighters on their way to the fire hall responding to a fire, rescue, or motor vehicle incident. They will not be using these priority lanes at any other time and we thank all commuters for their understanding.”
Commuters are encouraged to pay close attention to new line painting and signs highlighting changes to traffic patterns in the area, and to plan extra time if using the 5th Street crossing.
As part of the overall project budget, the City of Courtenay is investing $700,000 to keep one lane of traffic open on the bridge during construction. Brief intermittent periods of full closure may still be required at times.
A reminder that downtown Courtenay is open for business during the project. Please support local merchants.
For project information, and to subscribe to updates via email, visit www.courtenay.ca/5thstreetbridge