Traffic on the Malahat portion of the Trans-Canada Highway was closed in both directions Tuesday as crews cleaned up debris and dropped trees that posed a threat of collapse in Goldstream Provincial Park. (Black Press Media file photo)

Study on Malahat road closures expected by end of year

‘Vancouver Island traffic is like an hourglass,’ says vice-chair of CRD Traffic Safety Commission

If a large rockslide closed the Malahat for more than a day, would the province have a long-term solution in place? That’s the question Chris Foord wants answered.

As the vice-chair of the Capital Regional District (CRD) Traffic Safety Commission, he’s critical of a study that the Ministry of Transportation began into alternative detour routes for the Malahat.

“Vancouver Island traffic is like an hourglass,” Foord said. “It doesn’t matter how big the ends are, it’s the pinch point which is a single-lane stretch through the Goldstream Park area. We should be smart enough to figure out a solution to our problem before the worst happens. It’ll probably take a rockslide to close the route for 10 days to get any reaction, but I hope it doesn’t come to that.”

READ MORE: An alternate route for Malahat shouldn’t go through Sooke watershed, says CRD director

The Ministry of Transportation is expected to release its study at the end of the month.

Last month, Malahat traffic came to a standstill twice. On Nov. 17, a small rockslide stopped northbound lanes for four hours and on Nov. 27, a fallen tree paused northbound lanes for two hours.

This doesn’t include the multiple instances semi-trucks have had trouble along the narrow route.

Recently, a confused semi driver went the wrong way on the Malahat and backed up traffic in both directions on Nov. 12. Then, a stalledtruck near Ice Cream Mountain heavily delayed southbound traffic on Nov. 28.

Approximately 22,000 vehicles travel through the traffic artery daily.

ALSO READ: Northbound lanes re-open along Malahat after small rockslide near Goldstream

“To my understanding, they are looking for a bypass route through the CRD watershed where the Sooke Reservoir is located, and that’s a big concern to me,” Mike Hicks, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director, told Black Press Media earlier this year.

“They don’t let anyone into the watershed, except maybe some First Nations people for hunting purposes, so opening it up and maybe having trucks rolling through there is a really big concern. Anything getting into that water is a big concern.”

Hicks pointed out that due to the nature of the area, the CRD doesn’t end up spending many millions of dollars on chemical treatment and filtration.

The Ministry of Transportation did not respond to a request for comments before deadline.

– with files from Tim Collins

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

RCMP cruiser damaged while responding to second of three Sidney crashes

Multiple crashes cause delays in both directions on Highway 17

Hotel workers gather in Victoria, demand right to return to work

Workers also asking the government to make sure employers don’t use pandemic to replace them

Victoria archery club says goodbye to outdoor range in View Royal

Province-owned View Royal property will house handyDART facility

MISSING: Victoria woman dubbed high-risk, last seen mid-June

Kristy Bolton is known to frequent the Rock Bay area

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Vancouver Island skydiving community mourns loss of one of its own

James Smith, 34, of Victoria, dies in Nanoose Bay incident

Elizabeth May endorses Furstenau in BC Greens race

Former federal party leader backs Cowichan Valley MLA

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Most Read