No emergency detour routes will be constructed for the Malahat, according to a report from the provincial government.
After reviewing a report on building potential alternate routes in the event of a long-term closure of the Malahat, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure determined that none of the seven proposed routes are feasible.
All of the routes were found to have environmental, engineering, property, and/or community disruption impacts. Two of the proposed detours were taken forward for capital cost assessment, and estimates were found to range from $30 – $180 million.
“Due to these community and environmental impacts, the focus of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will remain on improving safety on the existing Highway 1 route, so incidents that result in longer closures can be limited,” reads a statement from the Ministry.
According to the province, long-term Malahat closures occur relatively infrequently at a rate of 1.1 incidents per year.
There have been seven closures on the highway that lasted longer than four hours since 2009.