All four lanes of the Malahat highway are now open from Shawnigan Lake Road to Aspen Road.
Drivers are advised that there could still be sporadic lane closures during October, from Shawnigan Lake Road to Aspen Road, for minor adjustments and site cleanups.
The $34-million project along a five-kilometre stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway included expanding the section to four lanes with wider shoulder, a front and back road system with a new turnaround area, better overhead lighting at intersections and a median barrier for three kilometres.
The completion of the project means that 65 per cent of the highway now has a median barrier.
“Thank you to the contractor and workers for getting this vital project completed,” Premier John Horgan, who is also the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca, said in a statement. “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.”
Engineering work in the Goldstream Provincial Park area is scheduled to start in early 2019 when officials will look at building an additional 1.5 kilometres of median barriers north of 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,” Claire Trevena, minister of transportation and infrastructure, said in a statement.
“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.”
The minister said she has directed her staff to explore a second route around the Malahat, including the scope, location and size of the potential emergency route. The province said more information will be available in the fall.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has also issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) on BC Bid to assist with projects that will potentially explore future corridor widening, as well as safety, capacity and intersection improvements.
Approximately 24,000 vehicles travel along the Malahat each day. The number increases to approximately 30,000 vehicles during the summer.