Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade Project

UPDATE - June 26, 2020

Contract Awarded for Stage 2 of Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade - Construction is set to begin again soon on Chemainus Road, with the contract for Stage 2 of the corridor upgrade project now awarded. The municipality is pleased to announce that Milestone Contracting Incorporated was the successful tender. Milestone is a local Nanaimo company with a broad range of experience in civil construction and working in communities on Vancouver Island since 2005.

Construction began last fall on Stage 1 of the project, which included work on the underground utilities. Stage 2 includes all of the above ground surface work, roundabout (River and Chemainus Rd), sidewalk, paved bike lanes and newly paved roadway.  Landscaping, rain gardens, new signage, and new fencing are also planned for the east side of Chemainus Road.

“We’re excited to make this announcement today, which gets us one step closer to the finished project, which the community envisioned years ago with the 2011 Chemainus Town Centre Revitalization Plan,” says Mayor Siebring. “We expect this work to begin the second week of July, with an estimated completion date in late November.”

During Stage 2 construction, residents can expect some disruptions, including single-lane traffic and detours. For project updates and more, visit or follow North Cowichan on Facebook,


Phase One of Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade Project Completed - The Municipality of North Cowichan is pleased to announce that the installation of underground services has been completed, marking the end of Phase One of the Chemainus Road Upgrade Project. In collaboration with CopCan Civil Ltd., staff worked to complete this portion of the project safely and on schedule. Despite some challenges relating to COVID-19, Phase Two will commence as planned in early-to-mid July and is expected to be completed by mid-to-late November.

 A tender has now been released to obtain a contractor to undertake Phase Two of the upgrade project. The competition will close on June 23, 2020. The successful proponent will be announced once a contract is in place. Phase Two construction will include a roundabout; paved bike lanes, sidewalk and roadway; landscaping, rain gardens and new signage for the entire corridor. New fencing will also be installed on the east side of Chemainus Road.

Since Chemainus Road is the main entrance and exit route for the community of Chemainus, staff have committed to ensuring this road is never fully closed during the upgrade project. Chemainus Road will remain open in both directions until mid-July when the second phase of work begins. At this time, there will likely be some disruptions, including single-lane traffic and detours. In addition, over the next six weeks, Telus will be carrying out ongoing sensitive fibre optic work, which may cause minor traffic delays. Information about detours during the next phase of work, along with regular project updates, will be available on the Municipality's website and Facebook page. 

“I am thrilled to see Phase One of the Chemainus Road Upgrade Project come to an end and preparation for Phase Two begin,” said Mayor Al Siebring. “This work was identified in the 2011 Chemainus Town Revitalization Plan and will improve the community of Chemainus. I am happy we were able to safely complete this project despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he concluded.

 Visit: or like us on Facebook for project updates and more!



The global health crisis has affected the way we go about our business. Here are the updates to the Chemainus Road Project: CopCan Civil Ltd. has committed to completing their contract for this project for the Chemainus community. Road construction is considered an essential service by the Province, therefore CopCan is compliant to continue their work. CopCan is adhering with the COVID-19 Work Safe BC Recommendations and have created an extensive policy for their staff to follow.

Construction has been going well and is still on schedule even though we have had some unforeseen issues. CopCan is adaptive and has been making very good progress. Although the global pandemic has had a dramatic impact on our daily lives and livelihood (and we are sad to see this happen) the reduction in traffic does lend to a swifter completion of the project in the next 5-6 months. CopCan has committed to continuously repairing potholes, but please remember it is a construction zone and they are prone to occur. 

 Approximate Target Dates:

 April 30: 

It is anticipated that CopCan will have completed all underground utility work which includes the sewer replacement, storm main additions, catch basins, Telus underground conduits and new water main and services connections to the adjacent properties.

 April 30 to Mid-May: 

CopCan’s final scope of work includes removing and replacing the sidewalk on the west side of the road from the Hair Salon south to just short of the Silvermine Jewelry Store. Local pedestrian traffic will be re-directed to use the Cowichan Trail just west of the tracks during this time. 

 April 20-24:

Telus will relocate the overhead line in the east side of the road into the underground conduits and remove the old service poles.

Late April to late May: 

Formal tendering process to hire a contractor for the remainder of the surface improvements will occur.

Late May to early June: 

Council will award the new contract for the remainder of the surface improvements.

June into the Fall: 

Construction of the remainder of the surface improvements which includes sidewalks, curbs, roads, roundabout, rain gardens, shrub gardens, street lights, underground electrical lines, irrigation,  landscaping, trees, and fencing along with the forestry land.

Please note engineering staff are not working in the municipal office during the global pandemic. Please continue to email me or call my cellular phone number at (250) 252-5533. 


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 businesses 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, 250.252.5533 or