The Malahat was closed in both directions Monday morning, Sept. 10, due to a rock that fell onto the highway. (Photo courtesy of B.C. Transportation)

Province satisfied rock slide that closed Malahat an ‘isolated event’

Another complete highway closure near Victoria renews calls for alternate route between capital region and rest of Vancouver Island

The province doesn’t expect other rocks to fall onto the Malahat after that happened this morning, bringing traffic to a stop on the Trans-Canada highway in both directions for several hours.

The Malahat was shut down for about three hours Monday morning north of Victoria, just past Goldstream Park.

Janelle Staite, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s deputy regional director for the south coast, said at about 8:10 a.m., a rock fell into the southbound lanes, bounced across the median and through the northbound lanes before coming to rest on the shoulder. There was a “minor impact” with a northbound pickup truck, she said.

The highway was immediately closed and the ministry’s geotechnical engineers dispatched to the location.

“From what they can determine, it was sort of an isolated event,” said Staite. “We’ve had a lot of heavy rains over the last number of days and when we do have rains when it’s been dry for awhile, it has the opportunity to potentially dislodge some rock material.”

RELATED: Malahat reopens following closure due to rock slide

Straite said the incident was not related to any construction happening further north on the highway.

She said the ministry has meshing over the rock face on this particular stretch of the highway, but the rock that fell came from about 100 metres above the ministry right-of-way.

“They look at a broad enough section to try to determine, is this something that we need to be concerned around a larger rock fall or more rocks falling before we’re able to re-open the highway,” Staite said. “The assessment that they did, they were able to determine that where they looked at, they were comfortable to give the OK.”

She said the Ministry of Transportation is “always looking” at safety along the corridor, including the rock faces, and said “we’re very thankful that no one was injured” in this morning’s incident.

READ ALSO: Malahat open in both directions after fatal sewage-truck crash

She said approximately 22,000 vehicles travel that route each day and the ministry appreciates that traffic closures are a disruption to commuters and businesses.

“I can say we are looking at alternatives to the Malahat…” she said, noting that alternate routes and bridge links have been brought up in the past. “We’re still working on the scope of that study and hope to have more information this fall.”

Straite said it’s “at the top of our mind,” and that was the case before the series of closures in recent weeks.

“This is an important corridor, we want to keep people moving on the corridor and we want to make sure the corridor remains safe and reliable,” she said.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Dunk yourself into the musical theatre experience

Chemainus Theatre hosting a series of summer camps for student actors

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Great cast makes The Foreigner loveable and laughable

Comedy at the Chemainnus Theatre runs until May 9

Oh Susannah!

Great vocals and musical accompaniment at Pat’s House of Jazz show

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Trudeau to be portrayed on ‘Simpsons’ episode

Toronto journalist who’s posted videos of himself doing impressions of the PM voiced him for the show

Elizabeth May’s wedding dress a ‘walk through a garden’ on Earth Day

Green Party leader set to get married in Victoria

Campbell River RCMP say alcohol and speed may be factors in collision

Woman injured after driver ran into her car on Highway 19A, says fire captain

Number of ancient humans continues to grow after discovery

Scientists identify at least 12 species outside of Homo sapians following discovery in Philippines

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Happy birthday: Queen Elizabeth II turns 93 on Easter Sunday

Sunday is the first of two birthday celebrations each year for the queen

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

Most Read