NEWS

Deadly Malahat Highway corner under investigation

12/12/2012 01:03 EST | Updated 02/11/2013 05:12 EST
B.C.'s minister of transportation has ordered an engineering review of a dangerous section of the Malahat Highway on Vancouver Island.

In October, three people died and five others were injured in a head-on crash near Whittaker Road, just north of the East Shawnigan Lake Road turn-off.

For years, Malahat Volunteer Fire Department Chief Rob Patterson has been calling for the installation of a concrete centre line barrier on a stretch of the island highway where two lanes merge into one.

"It's a battle every day and every weekend, where people are jockeying for position, and that's why we call it NASCAR corner."

Last March, the Ministry of Highways rejected the idea of installing a barrier along the corner because of the cost of cutting into a rock face to widen the road.

Now, Minister Mary Pollack says that option is back on the table and engineers will take a closer look at the proposal over the next four to six months.

"They will then come back with a better understanding of what is technically required to address the concerns in that area."

But there is still no guarantee the province will agree to spend the money it will take to install a barrier along the corner.

"We need to be certain that the steps we're taking are the right ones," said Polak.

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