VICTORIA -- Preliminary construction of a new 'flyover' overpass on the Pat Bay Highway in Central Saanich is expected to begin this July.

The overpass, first announced by the B.C. government last year, will connect the highway’s northbound lanes with the westbound lane of Keating Cross Road.

Once complete, drivers will no longer need to turn left onto incoming highway traffic to access the street.

The project also includes new additions to Keating Cross Road’s southbound on-ramp onto the Pat Bay Highway.

According to the B.C. government, initial engineering work in the area will take place in July and August.

The work will largely center on geotechnical investigations, including soil samples, environmental and archeological assessments and research into the highway’s subsurface ground conditions.

The province warns that the work may result in lane closures and minor delays on the highway and on Keating Cross Road.

In August 2019, the B.C. government pegged the approximate cost of the project at $44 million, split between all three levels of government.

The federal government is contributing $16.7 million to the project while the District of Central Saanich is providing $2.5 million.

Last year, the B.C. government said it would earmark $25.5 million for the project. Now, the province says it will “finalize its investment decision” once a business case review for the project has been completed.