Thursday December 9, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
Today, about three weeks after the rainstorm that knocked out use of Highway 1 in the Malahat stretch, Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said that the Malahat is open and traffic is flowing “very well” between south Vancouver Island and the mid- and north island.
Fleming notes that traffic volumes seem to be a bit lower than usual. He appreciates that people are working from home where possible.
The direction to working from home could also be a result of some businesses and school districts deploying people to work from home as part of saving fuel (in response to the BC State of Emergency which includes an order to limit retail fuel tank purchases to 30-litres at a time).
During the repair phase of the Malahat (generally November 17 to 20), there was single-lane alternating traffic, some overnight closure periods, and periods where only commercial traffic was allowed through.
Mainland and supply chain:
Fleming said today that the Coquihala remains under repair to mid-January 2022 (last week he said the end of January) During this time, Highway 5 is open for trucks only, and Highway 3 is open to “general travel”.
Fleming appreciates that commercial truckers have been able to use highways in Washington State (by special permission during this emergency phase) to keep the supply chain running.
Keeping the supply chain running includes helping manufacturing continue in various parts of the province, and people keeping their jobs (without layoffs) during the holiday season.
State of Emergency:
The State of Emergency in BC is presently in place to December 14, 2021 (after the initial State of Emergency being called on November 17, and renewed for another two weeks at November 29).
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth is touring flood-ravaged and highway-impacted areas around Merritt, BC today; he was not available as part of today’s media briefing.
Nov 20: BC emergency update on flood-impacted areas (Nov 20, 2021)
Malahat update: no overnight closures as cleanup continues (Nov 18, 2021)