What’s happening at the Victoria handyDART site?

What are the remaining milestones?

Summer 2024 
– BC Hydro electrification of site 
– Complete exterior of main building   

Fall 2024 
– Asphalt paving 
– Landscaping 
– Complete interior of main building 
– Complete service island/bus wash 
– Site fencing completed  

Winter 2024 
– Building commissioning
– Occupancy permits   

Early 2025 
– Substantial completion 
– Final inspection, sign off, operational readiness

What’s happening this spring

Over the past two weeks construction has included framing in the administrative and maintenance areas, excavation and underground utilities and the new bus wash had its concrete slab poured. In the coming weeks more conduit and interior steelwork will be installed, another coat of paint will be applied to the admin building. The site trailers will soon be moved from the north side of the site to the south near the administrative building. 

Trenching onsite

There’s a lot of trenching happening on the site and that’s where the electrical conduit for powering the electric fleet will be installed underground. Approximately 16kms of conduit overall will be installed in the coming weeks.

Winter Progress

As we move towards the spring, the main building is now fully framed. The front administration areas are now watertight and steel crews will now complete the walls and roof across the rest of the structure while additional crews start work inside the administration wing. 

Progress on the main building

The work onsite continues and the main building is taking shape with part of the steel structure being constructed throughout the fall months. In order to take a phased approach, work is ongoing inside the current structure and more concrete pours and steel construction will follow as they move along the length of the building. Upcoming underground work includes the installation of more than 16km of conduit to accommodate the future battery electric buses that will operate at the site. The bus wash building and other above ground features are also starting to take shape and be visible to the public.

Summer 2023

Throughout summer 2023, the steel frame of the building started to take shape. Crews have been focused on the foundation, laying conduit for electrical, plumbing and telecommunications. Concrete pours started in late August and will continue in September. Come late September, a crane will start to erect steel beams to frame out the walls and roof of the main building.  

July Drone Image

Progress Continues
Crews continue to lay the electrical, plumbing and telecommunications lines for the main building.

The building footprint is becoming more apparent. The area in the forefront of the photo is the office and administrative areas and the maintenance areas of the building run along the top of the stream channel towards the trees in the back.

The first concrete pour for the future office area took place in late August, followed by pours for the maintenance bays in September.

July activities:
In July, crews focused on prepping the floor slab and running underground electrical and plumbing for the main building. Later this summer they will pour the concrete floor slabs.

Building Foundation 1

The piling is complete
We couldn’t be more appreciative of the patience in the neighbourhood through this period. This was by far the most disruptive phase of construction and contractors were committed to getting it done as quickly as possible.

The site is largely fill from when the highway was built, so the steel piles are essential to ensuring seismically sound construction. Over 300 piles were installed over eight weeks, finishing two weeks earlier than the originally estimated 10 week timeline.

What happens next?
Activity will now shift to ground level prep for constructing BC Transit’s first LEED Gold building that will support an electric fleet of vehicles. Activities include:

  • Underground electrical and plumbing
  • Trenching and filling
  • Grade beams
  • Concrete slab work

The above ground work, including building walls will begin later this summer, working to be “water tight” by Spring 2024.

Any questions about the piling activity can be directed to victoriahandydartproject@bctransit.com

New stream channel and restored habitat
A low-quality seasonal stream that previously flowed across the property and joins Craigflower Creek near the highway has been realigned along the border of the site adjacent to the highway exit. To restore the ecological health of the site, the realigned stream area created an acre of new amphibian habitat and rearing habitat for Coho salmon and other juvenile fish. Local Eagle View Elementary students recently planted the first of 8,000 native plants in the stream channel.

Improved crossing at Burnside Road/Watkiss Way intersection
Timed with the final road work, the Town of View Royal coordinated efforts with BC Transit contractors to add some extra visibility to the Galloping Goose Trail connection. New green conflict paint and refreshed cycling markings and “elephant feet” were added to the busy crossing. Elephant feet are the white squares that run parallel to the crosswalk that indicate to cyclists they can ride through the crossing without dismounting.

Elephant feet crossing

New illuminated bike detection sensors were recently added, indicating that a cyclist has been detected. The sensor communicates to the traffic control signal and can prolong the light to allow safe crossing. Detection sensors help reduce conflicts between cars, bikes and people who are walking without causing delay for motorists.

New BC Hydro monopole
BC Hydro installed a new monopole and decommissioned the previous transmission tower in December 2022.


Two new bus shelters
New bus shelters have been installed near the intersection of Burnside Road and Watkiss Way. One is on West Burnside Road (near the former Nest Café) and one is at the existing stop on Watkiss Way near the large Garry Oak tree. Service to the new Burnside stop will begin in January and will serve routes 39 to Westhills and 53 to the Langford Exchange.

New Bus Shelter

New street trees on Watkiss Way
The new double row of street trees have taken root on Watkiss Way, mirroring the trees on the other side of the street. The boulevards, Town park area and Burnside slope were seeded and will take root over the coming weeks. More plants will be added to the new stream channel in November.

The improved Galloping Goose Trail
The Galloping Goose Trail improvements are complete. The reduced grade and elimination of the sharp corner have been improved and a new retaining wall has been constructed. The three-metre-wide trail reopened in June 2022.

GG trail open

New sidewalks and landscaping on Watkiss Way
In July 2022, new curbs, bus pullouts, and a new sidewalk were introduced on Watkiss Way from Talcott Road to Burnside Road. The concrete was poured in August and landscaping will follow next. The landscaping is being introduced as part of this first phase of work, to allow it more time to mature during building construction.


Wick drain installation now complete
Wick drains are flexible, plastic strips that help draw water out of the ground so the soils can settle prior to building construction in spring 2023. This site has a lot of clay so the water can get “stuck” beneath the surface. Nearly 5,000 wick drains were installed across the site. Now in place, the wicks, which can range in depth from two feet to 40 feet, will quietly do their work over several months.

New Town of View Royal Park
BC Transit has provided $150,000 to the Town of View Royal for local community amenities and approximately 1.5 acres of land along Watkiss Way has also been provided to the Town for a public park. The Town will lead public engagement with the community to plan the park design.

Park Space

Burnside Road Widening
Burnside Road was widened to introduce a new turn lane into the site that will ensure buses turning into the site don’t impact traffic flow.

First SalmonSafe Certified Development on Vancouver Island
The Fraser Basin Council has recognized the handyDART centre as the first Salmon-Safe certified development on Vancouver Island. The Fraser Basin Council recognized the contributions of the local community for setting high standards for water conservation, stormwater management and restoration of the stream that runs into Craigflower Creek.

Salmon Safe certification

New stream channel and restored habitat
Hall Constructors is working on the west half of the site, along Burnside Road and the highway exit restoring the stream channel that runs through the site. A low-quality seasonal stream that previously flowed across the property and joins Craigflower Creek near the highway has been realigned along the border of the site adjacent to the highway exit. To restore the ecological health of the site, the realigned stream area created an acre of new amphibian habitat and rearing habitat for Coho salmon and other juvenile fish. Local Eagle View Elementary students recently planted the first of 8,000 native plants in the stream channel.

Stream Restoration (hD site)

Protection of the CRD watermain
A new “anode bed” was installed in the View Royal lease area along Watkiss Way to protect the CRD water main running across the site. An anode bed provides cathodic protection helps prevent corrosion by supplying an electric current to the water main. This helps extend its lifespan and reduces the need for future maintenance. The anode bed was installed and then covered, leaving the site ready for the Town to advance planning and design for future public use.

Archaeological monitors on-site
With excavation underway, monitors are on-site to observe digging activities and ensure any cultural finds are managed appropriately. Located on the traditional lands of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, and with known archaeological sites on the property, the contractors and archeological monitors are working closely to ensure cultural protocols and chance find procedures are followed.

Tree protection, removal, and re-use
Trees serve an important purpose in the environment and our community. That’s why we want to share our approach to tree protection, removal, and re-use. All trees removed were re-used on site as part of the stream restoration and some will be made into birdhouses that will be installed on-site. Their removal facilitated trail improvements that improved the accessibility and visibility of this portion of the Galloping Goose Regional Trail improved for people who walk, cycle and roll. Check out the video to learn more about trees on site.