B.C. government says Malahat report coming out by end of year

WatchDelays along the Malahat Highway have become oh too familiar for Island drivers. The latest coming both last night and this morning. But residents may have answers on how the Provincial Government plans the correct the issue sooner than later.
A tree fell across the northbound lanes of the Trans Canada Highway on Wednesday night.

The provincial government says a report on alternative routes around the Malahat will be coming out by the end of this year.

On Wednesday night, a fallen tree in Goldstream brought northbound traffic heading up the Malahat to a halt for over an hour. Then Thursday morning, a semi-truck broke down near Ice Cream Mountain, causing delays southbound.

The two incidents are the most recent on the long list of delays on the troubled stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway.

“I know there’s always frustration when there are either problems like the branches blocking the highway and I know contractors were out to clear them as soon as they could, and I know there was another incident with a semi and it is frustrating for people,” Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena said.

The ministry said it is in its final stages of a study of alternative routes around the Malahat. The report started back in January.

“We’re looking at alternatives and looking at alternative routes. We’re talking to municipalities as we finalize that report and that will be coming out later this year,” Trevena said.

One of the possible bypasses that have been studied is the Niagara Main which goes through Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park. But the idea was met with push back with concerns for the environment. Meanwhile, others feel that a complete re-structuring of the road would be a better solution

“We still always need to look at the longer-term view which is building a proper road and a proper link. I mean I cringe at the thought of every fuel tanker coming down the Island fully loaded with people zipping in front of them with reckless abandon going down that hill. It’s just a recipe for disaster. We need to do better,” Cris Foord, the Capital Regional District safety commission vice-chair, said.

No exact date has been given for the release of the report.


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