Something has to be done on the Trans Canada Highway between Henry Road in Chemainus and Mays Road outside of Duncan.
Every time there’s a significant rainfall, as was the case again last Thursday, water pools in at least four spots along that section of the highway, creating a dangerous situation for drivers.
Of course, drivers not taking the necessary precautions and slowing down in miserable conditions with reduced visibility make it even worse.
Most Chemainus Valley residents who’ve ever driven to Duncan during rainy weather know about these locations because they always surface. Drivers from other areas are often caught unawares, having to slam on the brakes suddenly amid a huge splash in these mini lakes and trying to prevent hydroplaning.
At the very least, signage needs to be installed at Mays Road heading north and Henry Road heading south warning that this area is subjected to a heavy concentration of water on the road, kind of like the ‘Slippery When Wet’ scenario. Realistically, signs should be posted at all the spots where this happens, but we don’t want to be inundated with highway clutter.
Better yet, the Provincial Ministry of Highways needs to get its engineers on the case and fix the problem. It’s been there far too long and the installation of the medians has only exacerbated the situation.
The slope of the road in those sections obviously does not allow for proper runoff. Water also seems to get clogged against the medians so that needs to be looked at more closely and addressed.
Long after heavy rains have stopped, the water can still be seen sitting on the highway. At least in those cases drivers have some warning; otherwise, they do not.
There have been a few accidents resulting from this highway misadventure. It’s a disaster just waiting to happen and better to deal with it now than wait for a terrible tragedy.
It’s time for action and also for drivers to always be more aware and reduce speeds, especially when it’s raining and water is spraying around everywhere from other vehicles. The normal highway speed simply can’t be maintained safely.