Falling rocks closed the Malahat for three hours on Monday morning as geotechnical engineers conducted an assessment. (Photo courtesy of BC Transportation)

Malahat closed an average of once per month, says Ministry of Transportation

Highway has been closed eight times this year due to vehicle incidents

The Malahat is closed an average of once a month, according to statistics from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

In 2018, the Malahat has been closed to traffic eight times due to vehicle incidents. Between 2011 to 2017, it was closed an average of 10 times per year due to vehicle incidents.

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

Three incidents took place earlier this week. While only one resulted in a full closure, all caused delays for motorists.

The first happened on Monday just after 8 a.m. in which 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.

The incident closed the popular Island highway in both directions just past Goldstream Provincial Park for three hours with no detours available for drivers, as the ministry’s geotechnical engineers assessed the scene.

On Tuesday morning, traffic was snarled in the Goldstream Park area after a driver lost control due to heavy rain and slid off the highway.

RELATED: Why are there so many crashes on the Malahat?

On Wednesday, a rollover crash near South Shawnigan Lake Road also caused delays for morning commuters.

Some have lost their lives on the dangerous stretch of road as well. Last month one man died after a collision between a sewage truck and an SUV that closed the highway for several hours as crews conducted an investigation.

Following that incident, Duncan resident Paul Russell started a petition calling on local and provincial officials to build an alternate route. More than 4,600 people have signed the petition so far.

“The ministry is very aware of the frustration felt from Vancouver Island commuters over the two recent closures on the Malahat,” said a spokesperson.

“Ministry staff are undertaking a review to look at potential transportation alternatives, including a bridge and other option that consider all modes of transportation, including both passenger only and car ferry services.”


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