VICTORIA -- A slew of new safety upgrades are coming to a busy Courtenay street that leads to the region's hospital, aquatic centre and North Island College.

A pedestrian signal is being installed at the intersection of Ryan Road and Cowichan Avenue, and existing concrete islands will be replaced with new structures that are wheelchair accessible.

Road lines at the intersection will also be repainted to improve visibility.

“Through extensive consultation in recent years for Courtenay’s transportation master plan, it was made clear to us that Ryan Road was an area of concern for people who walk, cycle and use mobility aids, particularly with the number of students in and around this area,” said Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells in a release Thursday.

“Our council is thankful that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure took these concerns seriously and grateful they are moving this crosswalk project forward for the benefit of our community,” he said.

The province hopes that the improved safety measures and push-activated pedestrian crossing will also encourage people to use active transportation when heading to the Comox Valley Aquatic Centre, hospital and college.

Construction of the safety upgrades will begin next week and is expected to be finished in early April.

During construction, drivers are asked to obey construction zone speed limits and to follow the directions of traffic controller workers in the area.