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UPDATE: Malahat reopening to alternating traffic following safety assessment

Essential travelers to be allowed through in 30 minute intervals
Flooding and bank instability closed the south and northbound lanes of the Malahat past West Shore Parkway Nov. 15. (Courtesy Emcon Servcies)

The Malahat is reopening to essential travelers Tuesday morning following an assessment of damage caused by Monday’s flooding.

Highway contractor Emcon Services Inc. says crews will be allowing single-lane alternating traffic through the area by 9:30 a.m. after a geotechnical assessment determined it is safe. Drive BC says essential travelers will be allowed through in 30 minute intervals and major delays are expected.

The stretch of highway between Finlayson Arm Road and Wellswood Road has been closed on and off since approximately 9 a.m. Monday morning when flooding swamped the road. Photos and videos from drivers who made it through before the initial closure showed water at times up to their vehicle bumpers.

READ ALSO: Throwback Thursday: 110 years since crews paved the Malahat

The highway was briefly reopened after crews managed to release some water off the road, but it was quickly closed again when they realized there could be further risk to drivers.

Shortly before 2 p.m. Monday, Emcon said it was working to remove the centre median to allow for water in the southbound lane to drain. By 5 p.m. though, it reported that a geotechnical assessment couldn’t confirm road stability at the time due to the large volumes of water remaining on the highway.

Crews were able to complete the assessment Tuesday morning though, and the highway has been deemed safe for travel.

READ ALSO: Flooding causes chaos, extensive evacuations and power outages for thousands in B.C.

READ ALSO: Chalet Road damaged as municipal crews tackle flooding across Saanich Peninsula

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About the Author: Goldstream News Gazette Staff

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