Boxwood Connector Project

The Boxwood Connector project is a road network improvement project that will ease traffic congestion at the intersection of Bowen Road and Northfield Road by diverting traffic and enhancing vehicle circulation.  The proposed new roadways and intersections will also support walking, cycling and transit through the use of complete streets principles.  Additionally, the project will include the creation of a public natural area that will serve as a detention pond during storm events, and will provide opportunity to develop under-utilized parcels of land. 

 Boxwood Phase2 Plan

The Boxwood Connector project will be completed in two phases.  Phase 1 will be completed in 2019 and includes:

  • tree removal and site clearing,
  • fencing around the project area,
  • soil and environmental improvements,
  • a new storm water pond and planting, and
  • placement of pre-load material that will be left for 2 years to help compact the soil for the future roadway improvements

Let's Get Started

Phase 1 will be completed in 2019 with site clearing and tree removal starting on February 27 in advance of the upcoming bird nesting window.  Remaining Phase 1 construction work will be tendered in April and will likely start early summer.

See the Details tab for more information.

Want to Know More?

City of Nanaimo representatives will be hosting a Public Information Session where residents can come and learn more about the project and ask questions.

  • Date: April 3, 2019
  • Time : 3:30pm - 7pm
  • Location: Beban Park Social Centre, Lounge C  

Or contact:

Kurtis Noble, Capital Project Management Specialist

Email: kurtis.noble@nanaimo.ca  Phone: (250) 756-5330

  • Progress
    Boxwood Project Schedule - rev 00
  • Documents

    The Boxwood Connector  was identified as a major road improvement project in the 2014 Nanaimo Transportation Master Plan

  • Details

    Phase 1

    Phase 1 begins in February 2019.  Existing trees within the project area will be removed in advance of the upcoming bird nesting window, and will allow for soil and environmental improvements to start in early summer.

    Following soil and environmental improvements, construction of a new storm water pond and riparian area planting will be completed, as well as placement of pre-load material that will be left for 2 years to help compact the soil for the future roadway improvements. 

    The image below shows the proposed work included in Phase 1.

    Boxwood Phase1 Plan 

    What is a Riparian Area?

    A riparian area refers to the areas bordering on streams, lakes, and wetlands that link water to land. Riparian areas provide habitat and travel corridors for fish and other wildlife. They also act as natural water storage, drainage and purifying systems.

    What is Pre-Load Material?

    Pre-Loading is a method of ground improvement that involves placement of an approved soil or gravel material over an area which applies additional load or pressure to compress the softer soils underneath.   The approved soil or gravel material is referred to as pre-load material.

    The image below shows a section view of what the site will look like with the pre-load material after Phase 1 is complete.

    Boxwood Phase 1 Section

     

    Phase 2

    After the soils under the future roadways have stopped settling, the pre-load material will be removed from the site and final ground improvement can be finished. Construction will then start on the new underground utilities, roadways and intersections.

    Detailed engineering design work for Phase 2 will begin in 2020 and construction is currently scheduled to begin in 2022.
     
    The image below shows a rendition of what the future road network will look like after phase 2 is completed.

     

    Boxwood Phase2 Plan

  • Background

    Transportation:

    Traffic studies have been conducted for the Boxwood Connector Project in 2010, 2013 and 2016. These studies reviewed traffic volumes and patterns in the project area in detail.  The studies conclude that traffic operations could be improved with the Boxwood Connector. The studies also indicate that improvements on Northfield Road can be phased, and that the ultimate road widening between Bowen Road and Boxwood Road can be completed several years after the Boxwood Connector project is constructed, or as adjacent properties redevelop.  

    The Boxwood Connector  was identified as a major road improvement project in the 2014 Nanaimo Transportation Master Plan.  

    Below is an old photograph of the intersection of Bowen Road and Northfield Road courtesy of the Nanaimo Community Archives.  Photograph year unknown.

    old photo - northfiled bowen

    Environmental:

    The project site was the former location of mining waste disposal and construction fill material dumping.   As a result of this historical land use, soil and groundwater contamination is present within the site.  Significant environmental studies and investigations have been conducted on the property to determine the types and levels of contamination.  With this information a detailed environmental remediation plan that meets provincial regulations was prepared and used to apply for the necessary approvals to proceed with the project. 

    The proposed habitat compensation for the Boxwood Connector project includes the construction of a naturalized public area including riparian planting, and will serve as a detention pond during storm events. The project has been carefully designed to improve the function of many environmentally sensitive features that have been previously disturbed from historic impacts.

    Below is an old photograph included in one of the environmental reports.  Photo courtesy of the BC Archives.  Photograph year 1958.

    old photo - 1958

    Geotechnical:

    Significant geotechnical investigations have been conducted on the project site. Beneath the top surface is an assortment of materials and conditions including layers of historic mining waste and construction fills, layers of organic peat and soft soils, and layers of compact to dense native soils. 

    The site will undergo extensive geotechnical and environmental improvements during Phase 1 in 2019, including the placement of pre-load material that will be left for 2 years to help compact the soil for the future roadway improvements. 

    After the soils under the future roadways have stopped settling, the pre-load material will be removed from the site and final ground improvement can be finished.  This will involve specialized construction equipment that compresses the soil through a method called 'rapid impact compaction'.

     

Help us improve our website

Don't include private or financial information in this form.