(BC Gov / Flickr)

Permanent repair work on the Malahat is slated to begin this spring, after last fall’s extreme weather events left sections of the highway flood-ravaged.

The Highway 1 – Malahat Tunnel Hill Washout Repair Project tender is now up for bid through to April 22nd, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

It says the planned work includes restoring around 50 metres of the northbound lane, north of Finlayson Arm Road, and repairing damage to existing drainage and slope stability.

As part of the project, an 80-metre retaining wall will also be replaced to secure the slope against future extreme rain events, officials explain.

“This is the first of the province’s permanent repair projects following November’s historic storms to go to tender,” the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said Monday.

“All permanent repair projects will improve resilience to future extreme weather events, part of the province’s commitment to building back better to ensure BC’s infrastructure is better able to withstand the impacts of climate change.”

The Ministry says efforts will be made to damper traffic disruptions during peak travel times, as crews look to complete work overnight where possible.

Still, traffic delays are expected throughout construction, including periods of single-lane alternating traffic and short, intermittent full closures.

“Advance notice of any traffic disruptions will be provided,” the Ministry added, referring to DriveBC.ca for further updates.

Officials ask drivers to drive for the conditions, observe construction zone speed limits and follow the direction of traffic-control signs and personnel.

In November 2021, an “atmospheric river” swept through parts of BC—including south Vancouver Island—causing extensive flooding and damage to major transportation arteries.

At the time, the Malahat saw pooling water and flash flooding as a section of the highway washed away. This led to immediate closures, but crews were able to reopen the road ahead of schedule.

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