The Malahat is closed in both directions due to a rockslide. (Instagram/bokarrasvlogs)

Province addressing need for emergency alternative to the Malahat

Alternate route to be part of new Vancouver Island transportation strategy to decrease congestion

The province is exploring the idea of emergency detour routes over the Malahat as part of a new transportation strategy for improving traffic flow on Southern Vancouver Island.

Related: Multi-vehicle crash closes Trans-Canada Highway in Langford, sends two to hospital

The “comprehensive and coordinated look into improving traffic flow” will address congestion in one of B.C.’s fastest growing regions between Duncan and West Shore communities in Greater Victoria.

“For too long, the infrastructure needs of the communities there have been ignored. It is time we start investing in long-term, innovative, multi-modal solutions to address congestion, while respecting and honouring the wishes and rights of local First Nations,” said Claire Trevena, minister of transportation and infrastructure.

B.C.’s Vancouver Island Transportation Strategy aims to move people more quickly between South Island communities “so they can spend less time sitting in traffic and more time at home with their families.”

The province has posted a request for consultant bids to design a multi-modal transportation plan for the region and will identify a successful bidder by the end of March, 2019.

A report on the feasibility of a temporary activated emergency detour route is expected by Spring 2019, and if a suitable detour route is identified, engineering work will begin in the summer.

Related: Multi-vehicle crash along the Malahat leaves traffic crawling

The province is also beginning work on the design phase of the Malahat Goldstream Park median barrier project. The project will build an additional 1.5 kilometres of median barrier north of the West Shore Parkway to just past Finlayson Arm Road.

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