Wednesday, October 30, 2013

$15 Million Malahat Safety Improvements



At the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance Summit in Nanaimo Premier Christy Clark announced $15 million for Malahat safety improvements, including an additional 2.3 kilometres of median barrier on the highway north of Shawnigan Lake Road.

"This section of highway has seen too many accidents and we've heard from first responders and residents about the need for continued improvements and that's what we're doing," said Premier Clark. "We're going to do more work to ensure the Island's highways meet the needs of a growing population and a growing economy."

The additional 2.3 kilometres of median barrier will divide the highway from Shawnigan Lake Road north to the Malahat Summit weather station, and will address safety concerns in the area known locally as "NASCAR Corner." Work will also include a one-kilometre southbound passing lane extension, as well as improvements to the Whittaker Road and Holker Place intersections.

"As the main route north from Victoria, the Malahat will be an important part of our upcoming Vancouver Island Transportation Strategy," said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. "Work is beginning on this important strategy and it will take some time to complete. In the meantime, we know that safety improvements to the Malahat are needed, and we're getting on with that work."

These upgrades build on $18 million in safety improvements to the Malahat since 2001. The improvements were identified in the 2012 Malahat Corridor study, and were also identified as a priority by the Malahat Advisory Group, which includes concerned citizens and local first responders.

Work will begin in 2014. When this section is complete, more than 50 per cent of the Malahat will be protected with median barrier.

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