VICTORIA -- After feedback from people who live and work in the Sooke area, the Highway 14 Realignment Project will soon go to tender.

The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has made changes to the proposed design after requesting public feedback between Dec. 3 and Jan. 15.

Some of the key changes will be in the Connie Road to Glinz Lake Road portion of the project.

"I'm really excited that we have hit this important milestone," said Sooke Mayor Maja Tait. "Now we've seen the design change based on concerns that the residents and travelling public have brought forward."

Some of the changes that have been made are a new pedestrian bridge just east of Glinz Lake Road and a new connector road between Manzer Road and Gillespie Road. The new road will allow Manzer Road residents better access to the highway from the improved Gillespie Road grade-separated intersection.

The connector will also provide an alternative emergency detour to Highway 14.

Improvements to the intersection of Gillespie Road and Highway 14 will make that section of the road safer for people who rely on the route between Sooke and Greater Victoria.

"We've had a number of tragic accidents occur within that particular area around the 17 Mile," said Tait. "It is greatly appreciated that we can really find a way that will now safely address that area."

Other improvements include bus bays at Glinz Lake Road and Polymede Place to better support people who use BC Transit to get to and from Sooke. To improve visibility for drivers, approximately 30 streetlights will be added near side-road intersections.

"I think, overall, just looking at the needs of the growing community that we are and also the impacted residents, that (the Ministry of Transportation) made a good balance there," said Tait.

Additional improvements to the highway will include widening and realigning approximately 1.5 kilometres of road between Glinz Lake Road and Connie Road, a new "park and ride" lot on Gillespie Road and shoulder-widening between Otter Point Road and Woodhaven Road.

The portion of the project from Otter Point Road to Woodhaven Road will be tendered this spring and, after completion of the final design, the Highway 14 realignment will go to tender this summer.

The budget for the Highway 14 improvements totals $85.7 million. The Government of Canada will contribute up to $30,233,000 through the New Building Canada Fund, and the Government of British Columbia is providing up to $55,482,000.