VICTORIA -- Construction of new highway upgrades along the Trans-Canada Highway near Langford are halfway complete, according to the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The upgrades, which are being added to the highway between Leigh Road and West Shore Parkway, include widening the road from three lanes to four as well as the instillation of a centre median between traffic directions.

Rock is also being removed to improve sightlines on the highway and new storm drains and culverts are being installed along the road.

The highway upgrades come following concerns over safety in the area, where fatal crashes have occurred in the past.

“There were too many accidents occurring on this stretch of road and our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones,” said Claire Trevena, B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure in a release Wednesday.

“This joint project with the federal government will make important improvements in safety for those driving through the corridor,” she said.

The provincial government is advising drivers that paving on the highway is scheduled to take place between August and September.

Drivers are reminded to follow construction zone speed limits of 60 km/h along the work site, and to follow all traffic orders by staff along the highway.

Construction of the highway upgrades began in Sept. 2019, at a cost of approximately $9.1 million.

The B.C. government says construction is ahead of schedule, and the project is expected to be complete by summer 2021.

“On behalf of the families affected by accidents on this stretch of the highway, as well as the residents of Langford, I am pleased that this project is halfway completed,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young on Wednesday.

“This vital safety measure will no doubt save lives and encourage motorists to drive carefully.”