Northfield Road, Highway 19A, Boundary Avenue Upgrade Project

Project Overview

The intersection(s) of Northfield Road/Boundary Avenue and Highway 19A/Northfield Road has long been an area of concern due to the high number of vehicle collisions. The proximity of three intersecting major roads, high traffic volumes, the E&N trail, and the E&N railroad presents a challenging set of constraints and has made the development of improvements a complex undertaking.

For more details, check out our interactive story map.

Project Objectives

The primary objective of this project is to improve the safety of the intersection for all modes of transportation. 

The secondary objective of this project is to improve the efficiency and organization of traffic through the intersections.  While the intersection may be more efficient after construction is completed, a significant increase in traffic capacity is not expected.

The project seeks to maximize the safety and efficiency of the intersection, as a result left-turns from northbound Boundary Avenue to westbound Northfield Road cannot be accommodated. For the small number of vehicles making this turn, alternate routes are available to travel north-west.

Contact Information

If you have any comments or questions on the planned improvements, please contact us at 250-756-5321 or email


  • Progress

    Project Schedule

    It is anticipated that construction will start in 2016; however, detailed project timing is yet to be determined.  When additional information is available it will be made available on this website.

    Project Updates

    Mar 23, 2016: The project is currently out for tender and construction is anticipated to start in the fall of 2016.

    May 10, 2016:  At the May 9, 2016 Committee of the Whole meeting, Council voted to defer the Northfield/Boundary/Highway 19A intersection project for up to one year. The tender for the project has been cancelled. 

    May 30, 2017:  At the May 15, 2017 Council Meeting, direction was given by Council to proceed with the intersection upgrades.  Project re-initiation is now underway with tendering anticipated within the next year.  Specific project timelines will be posted on this website once they are known.

    Nov 3, 2017:  The project is currently out for tender. The tender closes on November 29, 2017.

    Jan 8, 2018:  The tender has closed and the project award is anticipated by the end of January or early February, 2018.

    Feb 26, 2018:  Construction has begun.  For further information on construction progress and traffic advisories, see:

    Oct 31, 2018: Construction is Complete.

  • Documents
  • Details

    Project Scope

    The City of Nanaimo and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure have partnered to complete this project.  Other organizations including: Island Corridor Foundation, Southern Rail, School District 68 and ICBC have been consulted regarding the project.

    Some of the enhancements to the area are listed below along with the associated benefit to users of the intersections.  The numbers correspond to the numbers shown on the drawing above.





    Vehicles turning left from Highway 19A onto Northfield Road will have a protected left-turn only traffic signal (left turns will only be allowed on the green arrow).

    Reduces the risk of collisions between vehicles turning left onto Northfield Road and vehicles going south on Highway 19A and eliminates potential conflicts between pedestrians crossing Northfield Road and left turning vehicles.


    Vehicles on Northfield Road approaching Highway 19A will have dedicated left and right-turn lanes.

    The dedicated lanes will provide vehicles turning left a dedicated space to wait for a green light and vehicles turning right will be able continue onto Highway 19A.


    Vehicles turning right from Northfield Road to Highway 19A will have an acceleration lane on Highway 19A.

    The acceleration lane will simplify the merge onto Highway 19A by allowing vehicles to clear the intersection prior to merging.


    Vehicles turning left from Northfield Road to Boundary Avenue will have a dedicated left lane.

    The dedicated lane will improve traffic flow eastbound on Northfield Road. It will also prevent vehicles from backing up across the railway and into the Northfield – Highway 19A intersection.


    There will be a new traffic signal at the intersection of Northfield Road and Boundary Avenue.

    The signal will only be activated when a train is approaching ensuring that the area around the railway is clear when a train crosses Northfield Road.


    Pedestrian and cyclist improvements at both intersections.

    Pedestrians and cyclist will be able to navigate the intersection more safely and efficiently.


    A new pedestrian cyclist rail crossing between Boundary Avenue and the E&N trail.

    The crossing will make it easier forcyclists to connect between these two corridors.


    Improved access to the pedestrian/cyclist underpass.

    The ramp to the pedestrian underpass will be improved and updated to current guidelines.

     9 Pedestrian sidewalk and left turn lane on Northfield Road from Duggan Road to Boundary Avenue. Increased safety and level of service for vehicles and pedestrians.


    Project Budget

    The budget for the project is $4,172,000 (including addition of storm/sidewalk upgrades on Northfield Road).

    The City of Nanaimo and the Ministry of Transportation have agreed to share the cost of the project 50:50.  ICBC has also indicated that they can contribute $95,000 to the project.

  • Background
    The intersection(s) of Northfield Road/Boundary Avenue and Highway 19A/Northfield Road has long been an area of concern due to the high number of vehicle collisions.  A traffic study in 2009 and following the recommendations of that study, in 2011, the City of Nanaimo, in partnership with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, engaged Stantec Consulting Ltd. to re-design the intersection with the primary objective of improving safety for all modes of transportation.  The project was originally scheduled to be constructed in 2014; however, a project funding shortfall of $800,000 stalled the project.  The design was revisited and a value engineering review was completed before it was Tendered in 2016.  The project tender was cancelled and the project was postponed again due to the uncertainty of the future use of the railway and the $1,000,000 expense to upgrade the rail network for passenger service.  The rail component of the project was then re-negotiated with the rail stakeholders to include half of the rail upgrade to occur at time of construction and the other half to be completed prior to implementation of rail passenger service.  The storm and sidewalk on Northfield Road from Boundary Avenue to Duggan Road (originally scheduled for 2019) was added to the Intersection Upgrade Project and the project was tendered in 2017 with construction planned for 2018.

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