Province announces $8 million in Malahat improvements

A total of 5.4 kilometres of concrete median barriers and other safety enhancements to be added starting this year

Malahat volunteer fire chief Rob Patterson speaks at announcement of improvements to Malahat drive Thursday.

The province will spend $8 million adding 5.4 kilometres of extra concrete medians on the Malahat Drive.

Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom announced during a press conference Thursday that when construction is complete, more than 40 per cent of the ‘Hat will be separated with median barrier.

Five sections of the corridor will receive the barriers, with construction work scheduled to start next month and finish in the fall.

Other safety improvements include intersection upgrades at Finlayson Arm Road, Shawnigan Lake Road and the Malahat village, plus additional enforcement pullout areas, an advanced weather advisory system, and improved lighting, signage and roadside delineation.

The safety improvements were motivated by a community-driven effort to reduce crashes on the busy corridor, plus a safety review conducted by the ministry and engineer experts.

“I want to thank all of those who have contributed to our review of safety on the Malahat, particularly those law enforcement and safety advocates who passionately and respectfully voiced their concerns,” Lekstrom said in a prepared statement.

“There is some give and take, but immediately following the media barrier placement, there is some passing lane as well, so I think it will work,” he added at Thursday’s press conference. “It’s really focused on safety.”

Cowichanian Chelsey Dollman was one of the safety advocates who played a significant role in pushing for the improvements after she created a petition and Facebook group about the issue.

Ironically, she was almost in a collision on the Malahat Thursday morning as she travelled to the press conference.

“Someone had stopped dead in the fast-lane to turn left,” she said.

She thanked Cowichan Valley MLA Bill Routley for supporting her campaign to improve safety on the Malahat, and praised Lekstrom for making Malahat safety a priority.

“They’re starting at the end of April with the minimal construction, and then through June, July and August is when we’ll see the actual barriers go in, so everything should be done by this fall,” she said. “I’m really impressed with the speed they’ve put into this.”

Malahat Volunteer Fire Department chief Rob Patterson agreed.

“The infrastructure that’s going to be in place shortly this year is going to help the motoring public over the Malahat,” he said. “From a first responder’s standpoint, we see these crossovers far too often. It’s going to improve safety for each and every one of us.

“I don’t have to worry about cars crossing as often as they have in the past in the areas where we have had these time and time again.”

New Malahat barriers

– 2 km between Tunnel Hill and Aspen Road (road will also be widened)

– 1.4 km north of Finalyson Arm Road (northbound passing lane removed)

– 1 km south of Shawnigan Lake Road (road will also be widened)

– 500 m between Spencer Road and just north of the new Leigh Road overpass

– 400 m north of West Shore Parkway (road will also be widened)

Other safety improvements

– installation of a flashing beacon and intersection lighting, plus construction of a northbound acceleration lane at Finlayson Arm Road

– construction of a southbound acceleration lane at Shawnigan Lake Road

– construction of new acceleration and deceleration lanes, and enhanced signage, at Malahat Village (where the Malahat Mountain Inn is located)

– additional measures to prevent southbound access at Summit Lookout, Arbutus rest area and the Rock Cut view point

– additional enforcement pullout areas, enhanced lighting, an advanced weather warnign system and improved signage along the entire corridor

Just Posted

Cigarette butts the main culprit in lagoon beach cleaup

Thousands of butts were picked up by the Greater Victoria Green team recently

West Shore fireworks courses start next week

Course required for mandatory permit

Chef struck by car on Gorge Road dies in hospital

Khushal Singh Rana leaves behind a wife, four-year-old son and unborn twins

Young conductor to premiere new composition at Celebrate Canada concert Monday in Victoria

“Spirit of the True North” the latest musical accomplishment for View Royal’s Jared Richardson

More than 900 new units planned for Langford Lake development

Council still has to sign-off on rezoning application

Sooke fudge company on Dragon’s Den Nov. 2

Fudge in A Round appearance on Dragon’s Den celebrated with a viewing party at the local Legion Nov. 2

String of collisions in James Bay, downtown Victoria, linked to suspected impaired driver

City man faces up to four MVA charges after vehicles hit, pedestrians almost hit

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

EDITORIAL: It’s time to change the sexual assault conversation

The words “Me Too” are taking social media by storm this week,… Continue reading

Council to hold public hearing on EDPA report Oct. 28

Saanich residents will finally get a chance to comment on a long-awaited… Continue reading

Book recycling program helps Peninsula families

It has been 12 years since Daphne Macnaughton was principal of Saanichton… Continue reading

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Most Read