Metral Drive Complete Street breaking ground next month

Award winning project receives provincial and federal funding


The City of Nanaimo is turning its focus to complete streets, through capitalizing on existing infrastructure projects and consider all road users when rebuilding Nanaimo's roads.The City developed a Complete Street Design Guideline, while at the same time putting those principles into practice on the Metral Drive corridor. The Metral Drive Complete Street project will renew underground utilities and improve the surface in the way the City envisions the road to function. The project involves new watermains, storm infrastructure, road surface, sidewalks, cycle tracks, treed boulevards and raised intersections.

Showcasing modern street design, Metral Drive garnered attention nationally and internationally. The Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) awarded the City 2020 National Sustainable Urban Transportation Award, for development of complete street guidelines, new road standards and the Metral Drive project. The submission entitled "Nanaimo goes Dutch" highlights the City's commitment to more sustainable and accessible design through adoption of raised-local road crossings (how fitting that some of the cross streets on Metral are named after Dutch towns).

On top of the professional and technical acknowledgements, the Provincial Government has also awarded a $500,000 2020 Active Transportation Grant to the project - the maximum amount awarded to a single project, and the largest dollar value awarded to any municipality in the coastal region this year. Federal funding from the Gas Tax program, also known as Community Works fund, is contributing a significant portion to the project budget.

The City is moving forward with a progressive set of design guidelines and standards that will improve social, economic and environmental sustainability in Nanaimo. By providing more active and sustainable transportation options, together with the support from Provincial and Federal levels of government, we are mitigating our impact on the environment while creating a healthier, happier, accessible and more connected Nanaimo for everyone in the community to enjoy for years to come. By providing documentation and built examples for other cities to learn from, the City of Nanaimo and ISL Engineering have the potential to influence urban design of Canadian cities.

David Stalker Excavating Ltd. has been awarded the contract and anticipates starting Phase 1, from Mostar to Turner, within the next month and finishing by June 2021. Phase 2, from Turner to Aulds is scheduled to start construction in 2021.

For more information, visit the Metral Drive Complete Street project page at

Link to Strategic Plan: Environmental Responsibility, Livability, Excellence in Governance

Key Points

  • Upgrades include new watermains, storm infrastructure, road surface, sidewalks, separated cycle tracks and treed boulevards.
  • Construction of Phase 1 is scheduled to break ground in August 2020 and to wrap up by June 2021.
  • From Mostar to Turner, the design includes 7 raised local road intersections with continuous sidewalks and cycle tracks.


"Council and I are excited to see this project start up. Improving this corridor for all forms of transportation is one of our high priority projects. Winning national recognition is icing on the cake for a project that clearly reflects how Council wishes to develop our beautiful community and supports a strategic approach to active transportation."

City of Nanaimo

"The adoption of raised local road intersections and the Complete Street cross-sections is an exciting step for the City of Nanaimo. Through embracing more sustainable and accessible design options, we are building a healthier and more connected community."

Engineering Projects
City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • Nanaimo received a 2020 TAC Sustainable Urban Transportation Award for adoption of raised local road crossings into the City's Complete Street Guidelines, updated engineering standards, and their implementation on the Metral Drive Project.
  • Metral Drive Complete Street Phase 1 received funding from the Community Works Fund (Federal Gas Tax).
  • Metral Drive Complete Street Phase 1 received $500,000 in Active Transportation Grant funding from the BC Provincial Government.


Metral Drive - Dublin Way
Metral Drive - Dublin Way
Metral Drive - Godfrey Road
Metral Drive - Godfrey Road


Annalisa Fipke P.Eng.
Engineering Projects
City of Nanaimo

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