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

Sooke’s homeless reflect on housing situation

Ed MacGregor Park a new temporary home for Sooke’s homeless population

Langford approves permit for 124-unit mass timber building

Tallwood 1 to be completed by late 2021

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Book stores in Victoria notice uptick in sales for anti-racism titles

White Fragility, How to be an Antiracist are among the best selling titles

Victoria man in custody after shooting in 100-block of Gorge Road East

The man is facing recommended charges including assault with a weapon

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

Library’s Summer Reading Club goes virtual

This literacy program is usually offered in person

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Most Read