Potholes are a major conern on the Pacific Marine Circle Route between Port Renfrew and Mesachie Lake. (Black Press)

Potholes are a major conern on the Pacific Marine Circle Route between Port Renfrew and Mesachie Lake. (Black Press)

Pacific Marine Circle Route ‘riddled’with potholes

Not enough done to improve road, says regional district director

Logging truck traffic on the Pacific Marine Circle Route took a toll on a section of road between Port Renfrew and Mesachie Lake last winter, according to local politicians.

“It’s just riddled with potholes,” said Capital Regional District Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director Mike Hicks.

“Some work has been done, but it’s a major problem.”

Lake Cowichan Coun. Tim McGonigle raised concerns at a recent council meeting, too.

“It’s considerably better, 150 per cent better than it was,” McGonigle said, adding there’s still a few spots near the Mesachie Lake area that need work.

Pothole repairs are part of the routine maintenance provided by the Transportation and Infrastructure Ministry’s maintenance contractor. Potholes have undergone repairs since April, and the maintenance contractor continues to repair new ones as they are found through regular patrols, according to a statement issued by the ministry on Thursday.

“As part of regular maintenance, the contractor is patching potholes and ministry staff are currently assessing priorities for repairing and repaving the road to ensure the areas most in need of repair are addressed first,” said a spokesperson for the ministry.

Over the last eight years, the ministry has made major upgrades to the route: repaving and shoulder widening just west of Sooke in 2013-14, the Sombrio bridge replacement and realignment in 2012, and chipsealing (which is when a gravel base is turned into a hard surface using an oil treatment) between Port Renfrew and Lake Cowichan that was completed in 2009.

Still, Hicks doesn’t believe enough is done to improve highways in the Juan de Fuca region, including the Pacific Marine Circle Route, and hopes to meet with local MLA and soon-to-be premier John Horgan within the next few weeks.

“We don’t need to redo the highway,” Hicks said. “We just need to fill the potholes.”

klaird@blackpress.ca