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 was completed in 2019 and included:

  • 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

The project area will remain a construction zone and fenced off while the pre-load material and plantings are monitored and maintained. 

Phase 2

After the soils under the future roadways have stopped settling (1-2 years), the pre-load material will be removed from the site and final ground improvement can be finished. Construction can then start on the new underground utilities, roadways and intersections.  

Engineering design work for Phase 2 will be completed late 2020 / early 2021.

Construction of Phase 2 is currently scheduled for 2022.

Want to Know More?

Check out the additional information under the tabs below.  Or contact:

Kurtis Noble, Capital Project Management Specialist

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

 

  • Progress
  • Documents

    Nanaimo Transportation Master Plan

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

     

  • Details

    The images below provide details about the project. 

     Boxwood Public Info Session Board 4 Boxwood Public Info Session Board 5

    Boxwood Public Info Session Board 3 Boxwood Public Info Session Board 6

    The image below shows a concept section view of what the Boxwood Connector roadway may look like after Phase 2 is complete. Note the inclusion of sidewalks, on-street bike lanes and multi-use pathway that supports complete streets principles. 

    Boxwood Phase 2 Section

    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.

  • 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 a series of old photographs included in one of the environmental reports.  Photos courtesy of the BC Archives. Photos interpretation courtesy of McElhanney Consulting Engineers. 

    Boxwood Historical Photos

    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'.

     

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