Traffic was diverted to the northbound lanes of the Malahat after a rockslide between Goldstream Provincial Park and Ice Cream Mountain. (Emcon Services Inc., South Island Division/Twitter)

Site where rockslide occurred along Malahat is too narrow for rock blasting or drilling: Emcon

‘Rockfalls are inevitable, so we try to increase our response times,’ says representative

Drivers who regularly use the Malahat are using extra caution after a rockslide temporarily closed northbound lanes on Sunday morning.

After the incident, a geotechnical engineer was on-site to assess the area and determined there weren’t any major concerns.

“It’s a typical B.C. highway problem,” said Andrew Gaetz, quality assurance and operations for Emcon Services Inc., road and bridge maintenance contractor for South Vancouver Island.

“Rockfalls are inevitable, so we try to increase our response times.”

RELATED: Northbound lanes re-open along Malahat after small rockslide near Goldstream

According to multiple social media posts, the rockslide took place just after 9 a.m. between Goldstream Provincial Park and Ice Cream Mountain. Cleanup crews were on site shortly after 11 a.m. to begin dealing with the fallen rocks.

At the time, traffic was backed up to Leigh Road and drivers were told to use Finlayson Arm Road as a detour path. Crews had completed clearing the area by 1 p.m. and traffic congestion began easing up. West Shore RCMP confirmed that there were no injuries.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has the choice to consider capital funding for options to deal with rockslides, such as rock fencing or rock scaling, in which workers remove any loose rock from slopes while suspended from ropes.

“Many parts of the Malahat have been drilled and blasted so there is room for rock falls to go into small ditches,” Gaetz said. “Notably, rock faces are noticeably closer to the roadways around Goldstream.”

This means that blasting and drilling isn’t the first option for the ministry, as doing so would heavily affect traffic along these narrow parts of the Malahat.

“We just want to make sure that when rockfalls happen, the damage is minimal. This time, it only affected northbound traffic, which is a better result than scattering across both sides of the Malahat,” Gaetz said.

ALSO READ: Highway to Tofino re-opens ahead of long weekend after second rockslide in two days

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

malahat

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUINN’S QUIPS: What makes a building historically significant?

There’s a difference between heritage designation and a heritage register

Nominate a hero for BC Autism Awards

Quality Foods sponsoring the third annual awards

ACTIVE LIVING: Eating well builds a healthy immune system

Port Alberni registered dietitian Sandra Gentleman writes about health issues

ALBERNI GOLF: Golf club hosts mixed couples tournament

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament was limited to 48 players, members only

ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre hosts last workshop of the summer

Find out how you can support the Community Arts Council through COVID-19

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Filmmaker James Cameron’s Comox Valley winery up for sale

The director behind The Terminator and Titanic puts Beaufort Winery on the market after six years

Large missing python found ssssafe in Victoria after being on the lam for weeks

The snake was located more than six kilometres from where it went missing

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Most Read