Both NB lanes on Malahat open this weekend to ease traffic headaches

A major music festival and the B.C. Day long weekend is expected to lead to even more traffic on the popular route.

Backups on the Malahat have been horrendous with construction closing one northbound lane this summer. The province hopes reopening the lane will help with the flow of traffic over the long weekend. (Twitter: @kridan0103)

It’s been closed all summer for construction but officials with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure have seen fit to reopen a northbound lane on the Malahat to accommodate the Sunfest country music festival and the usual long weekend traffic.

The lane will reopen on Thursday, Aug. 3 and remain passable through the end of the day on Tuesday, Aug. 8, as well as Fridays through Sundays for the remainder of August.

Sunfest draws tens of thousands of visitors to Cowichan Lake over the long weekend, many in campers.

Moreover, the what’s-become-standard traffic stoppages will also be halted from Aug. 3 through Aug. 8 in order to keep the flow of vehicles moving.

“The increase in traffic volume is still anticipated to create delays along Highway 1 between Victoria and Duncan, so the ministry encourages all travellers to plan their trip well in advance, allow for plenty of extra time and drive safely,” said a press release issued Aug. 2.

The speed limit through the construction zone is 60 kilometres per hour and temporary lanes will be marked with cones.

Drivers are encouraged to visit the DriveBC website for up-to-date information.