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Premier promises $15 million for Malahat upgrades
Work will begin next year on $15 million more in safety improvements for Malahat Drive.
Premier Christy Clark announced the investment during her keynote address at the seventh annual Vancouver Island Economic Alliance Summit this afternoon (Wednesday, Oct. 30) in Nanaimo.
"This section of highway has seen too many accidents and we've heard from first responders and residents about the need for continued improvements and that's what we're doing," said Clark.
Work includes another 2.3 kilometres of median barrier on the highway north of Shawnigan Lake Road, including an area commonly called NASCAR corner.
"We are going to get it fixed," Clark said in the speech broadcast via conference call. "We will make that investment to save lives."
The work, set to start in 2014, also includes a one-kilometre southbound passing lane extension, and improvements to the Whittaker Road and Holker Place intersections.
"As the main route north from Victoria, the Malahat will be an important part of our upcoming Vancouver Island Transportation Strategy," said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone in a news release. "Work is beginning on this important strategy and it will take some time to complete. In the meantime, we know that safety improvements to the Malahat are needed, and
we're getting on with that work."
The improvements were identified in the 2012 Malahat Corridor Study, and were also identified as a priority by the Malahat Advisory Group, which includes concerned citizens and local first responders.
Work is scheduled to start in 2014.
An $8 million upgrade that included barriers between north and south bound lanes finished this summer. When this section is complete, more than 50 per cent of the Malahat will have a median barrier.