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Work progressing on permanent repairs to 2021 Malahat highway flood damage


A construction crew repairing a key stretch of the Malahat highway is a quarter of the way done driving piles into bedrock, after historic rainfall washed out part of the road at Tunnel Hill in fall 2021.

“We’re making some great progress there,” said Janelle Staite, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s deputy director.

In an update to CTV News, Staite said there are a total of 84 piles being driven into bedrock at the construction site, which will form part of the final retaining wall for the restoration work on the highway.

The atmospheric river flood event on Nov. 15, 2021, washed out part of the northbound lane.

“I was the last one through just before they shut it down a year or so ago,” said Cobble Hill resident John Kamphof.

He had been driving people to the ferry that day – and is among many who can’t forget the sight.

“There was this huge puddle and I had to take my car very, very slowly, making sure that the wave was staying ahead of my bumper so that my engine wouldn’t get flooded,” he said.

As with any new project of this kind, the province says the $24-million fix is being done with climate change in mind.

“The climate-resilient investments we’re making on the Malahat are going to be completed this summer,” said Transportation Minister Rob Fleming.

At the time of the washout, a culvert failed. The ministry says the ongoing work is doubling the culvert's size. Two more will be added as well.

“If we see the same levels of water we saw in the atmospheric river event or potentially more volumes of water, the intent is the site will absolutely be able to handle additional capacity to come through,” said Staite.

People who rely on the highway tell CTV News they’re not noticing any significant effects on their commute.

“It seems to flow fine,” said Mill Bay resident Joyce Stokes.

“It hasn’t really done a whole lot to change my driving habit,” said Kamphof. Top Stories

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