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)

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

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson Column: Books open up a world of discovery

We try to eat dinner as a family every night. It happens… Continue reading

The Cowichan Tribes’ gymnasium at 5574 River Road is now operating as an extreme weather shelter. (Submitted photo)
New extreme weather shelter opens on River Road in Duncan

New facility should relieve some pressure on Warmland House

Dementia doesn’t just affect the person living with a diagnosis; it affects caregivers, family, friends and their community. (Submitted)
January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

“Raise your voice: Dementia, long-term care and COVID-19” on Jan. 27

The firefighters at the Mesachie Lake fire hall could soon be working out of a new retrofitted building if the Cowichan V alley Regional District is successful with its application for a $350,000 federal grant to fund the project. (File photo)
Major retrofit planned for Mesachie Lake fire hall

CVRD applies for $350,000 federal grant

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy requires emergency treatment 3 times after ingesting drugs from Chemainus parks

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Most Read