Highway 1 - Malahat Village Safety Improvements

Shawnigan Lake Road to Aspen Road

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 project will contribute to a safer and more reliable connection between Victoria and Duncan.  

The safety improvements include:

  • Expanding five kilometres of highway to four lanes with wider shoulders
  • Installing three kilometres of median barrier
  • Providing improved and safer highway access through a frontage and backage road system with a new turnaround facility, and improved overhead lighting at intersections to help ensure safer access on and off the highway.

Project cost:

In July 2016, $34 million was committed for the Malahat Safety Improvements project. The Province of B.C. ($20,000,000) and the Government of Canada ($14,000,000).


An $18.5-million construction contract has been awarded to Emil Anderson Construction Ltd and construction started spring 2017 and will run through summer 2018.

Traffic advisories:

  • Motorists should expect delays of up to approximately 20 minutes on Highway 1 between Shawnigan Lake Road and Aspen Road and are advised to allow for extra travel time during construction, especially on Friday and Sunday afternoons as well as long weekends.
  • To ensure the safety of travellers, one northbound lane is closed over approximately five kilometres for the duration of the project. Drivers are asked to use both lanes up to the merge point and then alternate when merging (like a zipper) for best efficiency.
  • In addition, intermittent traffic stoppages will be required for tree clearing, blasting and other activities but will occur outside peak periods (6 a.m. – 9 a.m. southbound and 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. northbound). Certain tasks will also be done at night when traffic volumes are lowest. Construction zone speed limits are in effect 24/7 until the project is finished in summer 2018.
  • Motorists are reminded to obey traffic control personnel, watch for workers, and pay special attention to signs because traffic patterns will be changing throughout the project. For up-to-date traffic advisories, please check: http://www.drivebc.ca.

Project Benefits

  • The project will upgrade five kilometres of the Trans-Canada highway where it passes through the Malahat Village, generally between Shawnigan Lake Road and Aspen Road.

  • The project will benefit the surrounding communities by stimulating economic development opportunities that rely on this vital corridor.

  • When this upgrade through the Malahat Village is finished, there will be an 11-kilometre-long section between Finlayson Arm Road and the Malahat Summit with safer intersections and median barrier to protect against crossover collisions. In total, over 65% of the Malahat corridor will then be median divided.

Public Consultation

A public information session was held November 3, 2016 in Mill Bay.  Approximately 175 people attended.  More than 80 pieces of feedback were received, with the majority showing overall support for the highway improvement project.