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

Alert Bay resident carves tribute to his community kicking COVID-19’s butt

‘Our little village crushed the curve with love and commitment’

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Port Hardy called in record number of black bear sightings last year

Conservation Officers attended 74 of the 314 calls made

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Ruined picnic tables are the main damage

Port McNeill’s outdoor swimming pool will stay closed this summer

The Town of Port McNeill typically hires 12-13 staff for the pool every year.

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

End of an Era: Tofino hair studio closes shop

“We were getting excited to start ramping up and then all of sudden we had to close our doors.”

Most Read