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

The Town of Qualicum Beach is set to hold a byelection on May 15. (PQB News file photo)
Restaurant owners Oura and Kymon Giakoumakis visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: COVID-19 pandemic hits food service industry hard

Podcast: Parksville Qualicum Beach restaurant owners share thoughts and advice

The St. Andrews Lodge Historical and Cultural Society wants the old building included in the Town of Qualicum Beach’s Heritage Register. (PQB News file photo)
Qualicum Beach councillor offers to help pay St. Andrews Lodge society’s bills

Group wants building included in town’s heritage register

Ballenas Secondar School (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Another exposure reported at Parksville’s Ballenas Secondary

Public health staff are completing contact tracing

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of being involved in a stabbing. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to identify stabbing suspect who wielded rusty knife

Stabbing followed argument between two men at Port Place Shopping Centre April 1

The inside of the Campbell River Community Centre gymnasium has been marked off in order to facilitate the public flowing through the clinic as they receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell river Mirror
Leftover vaccines go into arms, not down the drain: Island Health

Immunization plan comes with built-in options for any unused vaccines at the end of the day

Most Read