Highway 1 - Malahat Safety Improvements
The Trans-Canada Highway is the main north-south corridor on Vancouver Island and serves as a critical route for moving goods, linking communities, and supporting a thriving tourism industry in the region. The proposed project would contribute to a safer and more reliable connection between Victoria and Duncan.
Approximately 60% of the Malahat corridor is now median divided. Only Goldstream park and a four-kilometre section near the summit between Split Rock View Point and Bamberton currently remain. Upon completion of the proposed Goldstream Median Barrier Widening project, the corridor would be over 75% median divided.
More then 29,000 vehicles a day travel this highway segment in the summer. The average annual daily traffic is over 25,000 vehicles per day.
When crashes and other vehicle incidents, such as stalls or breakdowns occur, they result in sometimes lengthy road closures with the impacts having far reaching effects with people trying to get to important appointments and halting the movement of critical goods and services through the area, impacting the local economy.
Unlike the currently remaining undivided highway segment near the summit, which has an alternate emergency detour route via Shawnigan Lake Road, the Goldstream segment has limited detour options during road closures, with the narrow single lane Finlayson Arm Road which cannot accommodate large vehicles, ferry routes with limited capacities, or the lengthy Pacific Marine Circle Route through Port Renfrew.
The proposed Goldstream Median Barrier Widening would improve the safety and reliability of the Malahat corridor and would include:
- Widening 1.7 kilometres of highway to accommodate wider paved shoulders, roadside barrier, and accommodation of median barrier separation
- Installing over 1.5 kilometres of median barrier
- Providing improved highway access at the Finlayson Arm Road intersection, including median channelization, improved site lines and overhead lighting
The proposed project would also include the following active transportation improvements and environmental enhancements:
- Enhancing and protecting the existing park trail parallel to the highway overlooking the river
- Improved parking and trail network connections, including a pedestrian trail bridge over the Goldstream River to connect local trails
- Installing a safe pedestrian highway crossing structure linking park trails on both sides of the highway
- Environmental restoration and riparian replanting
- Installing enclosed storm drainage with oil/water spill collection and separation devices through the existing S-curves to the south of the Finlayson Arm Road intersection
The highway would remain one lane in each direction of travel. All highway infrastructure would remain within the existing highway right-of-way. No park boundary adjustments would be occurring to the Goldstream Provincial Park.
In order to achieve the proposed widening and to ensure the retention of the improvements within the existing highway right-of-way, the proposed project scope includes multiple retaining structures, and a cantilever bridge structure which would extend partially over the bank of the Goldstream River at a location of an existing boulder stacked rock wall supporting the highway.
The proposed project cost has yet to be established pending public engagement feedback, scope and design finalizations, and subsequent funding approvals being secured.
The proposed project design and engineering investigations were announced in the fall of 2018 and commenced in 2019. The engineering investigations have been advanced and developed to a stage that the proposed design has been determined to be constructible, limit environmental impacts and otherwise enhance the safety and reliability of the highway segment to the maximum extent possible while remaining within the existing highway right-of-way.
Online public engagement is now live until September 20, 2020.
Project Information Materials
The Province is conducting a short online survey to collect feedback and thoughts from residents and those potentially affected by this highway project. The last question on the survey provides space to provide additional feedback or submit questions.