All four lanes of the Malahat are now open along a five-kilometre stretch of roadway between Shawnigan Lake and Aspen Road.
The completion of this project means that 65 per cent of that portion of the Trans Canada Highway is now protected with a median barrier, with more safety upgrades being discussed.
“Thank you to the contractor and workers for getting this vital project completed,” said Premier John Horgan, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. “And thank you to the travelling public for your patience while this project proceeded. Meanwhile, we will continue to look at options to keep traffic moving when accidents occur on the Malahat/Goldstream section.”
The area through Goldstream Park has been a concern for years and has already seen multiple closures and at least one fatality already in 2018.
The province announced that additional work will begin early next year to explore building an additional 1.5 km of median barriers between the West Shore Parkway to just north of Finlayson Arm Road.
“We all know that the Malahat shuts down when there are accidents, cutting the South Island off,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “This is an important route and people expect their lives will not be put on hold because of a road closure. We are working expeditiously on short- and long-term solutions.”
Provincial organizations also continued to explore the viability of a secondary route that bypasses the Malahat in case of emergency. They’re currently analyzing the scope, location, and size of this potential emergency route and will be ready to share more information later in the fall.
As part of the $34-million Malahat Village Safety Improvements, the following projects have been completed:
- expanding five kilometres of highway to four lanes with wider shoulders
- installing three kilometres of median barrier
- providing improved and safer highway access through a frontage and backage road system with a new turnaround facility, and improved overhead lighting at intersections to help ensure safer access on and off the highway
The province also warns of the possibility of sporadic lane closures during the month of October between Shawnigan Lake Road and Aspen Road for minor adjustments as necessary and site cleanup.
Approximately 24,000 vehicles travel the Malahat corridor each day and that number can increase to 30,000 vehicles per day during the summer.