Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade Project


COMPLETION OF UNDERGROUND SERVICING IMPROVEMENTS AND UNDERGROUND ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION: The Municipality and Copcan Civil Ltd. would like to extend a warm thank you to the residents and business of Chemainus for their patience and understanding during the construction on Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade.  Due to the great coordination from Copcan and cooperation of the community, the underground improvements for storm drainage and water and sewer mains are one month ahead of schedule and are 90% complete. These works can be expected to conclude in late April or early May of 2020.

Also starting in April, is the installation of west sidewalk on Chemainus from Urban Legends Salon and Spa (Victoria St) south to 50 m short of River Road. This will improve pedestrian traffic along this portion of road for the spring/summer months. The sidewalk should be completed by the end of April 2020.

 The next phase of construction will be the completion of the electrical conduit installation for Shaw and Telus lines and that will start in May 2020.

 Finally, the beautification of the street (surface improvements) are expected to start in May or June 2020, after a new contract has been awarded. Surface improvements will include paving, sidewalks, street trees, street furniture (benches, garbage cans), boulevard, bike lanes, parking and the roundabout at River Road and Chemainus Road. 

Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade Design.pdf [PDF - 595 KB]

New Roundabout at Chemainus and River Road Design.pdf [PDF - 202 KB]


LAND ACQUISITION AND SEPARATED BIKE LANES: The Municipality is pleased to announce that they have now entered into final agreements with Western Forest Products and Island Timberlands to acquire lands on the east side of Chemainus Road. This will enable adequate road expansion for the Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade. 

Phase 1 of the Chemainus Rd Corridor Upgrade began in November 2019, with underground utility upgrades that are scheduled to be completed by Spring 2020. Work will continue to remove trees on the newly acquired land to facilitate completion of the new water main, Telus line relocation, fence construction and road widening including sidewalk and bicycle lane infrastructure on the both sides of Chemainus Road. Staff and Copcan Civil Ltd. are doing the best to minimize traffic interruptions by holding bi-monthly meetings with local businesses and residents in the area and making adjustments to construction times and traffic flow where necessary.  

Phase 2 begins in Spring 2020, to construct above ground surface works, including the installation of a roundabout at Chemainus and River Roads. Construction is scheduled to be completed in Fall 2020.  See the revised cross section [PDF - 341 KB] to view the incorporation of separated bike lanes in the Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade.  The road design was revised to include separated bike lanes as they are a safer for our community and the BC Active Transportation Guide (2019 Edition) states that safe separated bike lanes correlates to higher usage of bike lanes. 

RIVER ROAD WESTBOUND TRAFFIC DETOUR DEC 2 & 3. Starting Monday, December 2 to Tuesday, December 3, the intersection of Chemainus Rd and River Rd will have limited access for 2 days (from 7:00 am -5:00 pm). Only east-bound traffic on River Rd will be permitted to exit onto Chemainus Rd and will experience some intermittent delays. All west-bound traffic on River Rd normally exiting off Chemainus Rd will be detoured onto Henry Rd and then Highway 1 north-bound to access River Rd (Click the link to see the  Detour Map [PDF - 456 KB]).


North Cowichan is upgrading a portion of Chemainus Road between Henry Road and Victoria Street in order to improve the accessibility and safety of this arterial road.  The Chemainus Road upgrade project was first proposed and envisioned by the community through development of the 2011 Chemainus Town Centre Revitalization Plan. The road upgrade will include:

  • Removal and replacement of expired underground infrastructure, including sewer, storm and water main;
  • Road widening on the east side;
  • Relocation of Telus/Shaw overhead lines underground;
  • New roundabout at the intersection of Chemainus Road and River Road;
  • New gardens within the roundabout area, including street furniture;
  • New sidewalk on the east side, with 80% existing sidewalk on west side to replaced;
  • New boulevards, including landscaping, street trees, and decorative street lighting;
  • On street parking on both sides; and
  • New asphalt road surface.

 The approximate project timeline is illustrated below:

Construction Schedule Information:

  • Construction will start mid-November 2019
  • Phase 1 - Underground utilities construction will take 4 months - Mid-November 2019 to Mid-March 2020.
  • Phase 2 - Above ground surface works will take 7 months - Mid-March to Mid-September 2020.
  • Starting point of undergound construction in Mid-November will be Victoria St and Chemainus Rd.
  • Construction will typically end at 5:30 pm each day and both lanes will be left open, unless unusual circumstances cause the crew to work longer to complete the task.
  • Construction will typically not occur on weekends, unless unusual circumstances cause the crew to work longer to complete the task. 
  • There will be 1 to 3 flaggers on the work site during construction.
  • Copcan Civil Ltd. Project Manager, Chris Laramee, will work with owners on Chemainus Road regarding access and parking on a daily basis. His contact information is (250) 754-7260 or
  • No construction will occur from December 22 to December 29, 2019.
  • The Construction Crew will not be working New Year's Day, January 1, 2020.

Additional Information:

For more info: contact Morgan McLeod, Development Planner, 250.746.3190 or