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NASCAR Corner enters slower lane with more Malahat-barrier work

B.C. taxpayers are spending $8.3 million more to install 2.3 kilometres of concrete median-barriers on the Malahat
B.C. taxpayers are spending $8.3 million more to install 2.3 kilometres of concrete median-barriers on the Malahat's NASCAR Corner. Work will prevent this kind of crash, that killed three people in October 2012.
— image credit: Malahat Fire Rescue file

Speed will be curbed on the Malahat’s deadly NASCAR Corner through a $8.3 million concrete-barrier project starting next month.

“An $8.3-million contract has been awarded to Dawson Construction Ltd. to carry out the next round of safety improvements,” the transportation ministry announced announced Thursday.

“This includes widening the highway, and installing 2.3 kilometres of median barrier, from Shawnigan Lake Road north to the Malahat Summit.

“This will improve safety in an area known to locals as NASCAR Corner.”

Work will also see a one-kilometre, southbound passing-lane extension, plus improvements to the Whittaker Road and Holker Place intersections, the ministry says.

Work is expected to begin in May, and finish in spring. When this section is done, more than half of the Malahat will be protected with median barrier.

Including this project, taxpayers have spent more than $33 million to improve the Malahat since 2001, notes the ministry.

“These improvements were identified in the 2012 Malahat Corridor study, and were also identified as a priority by the Malahat Advisory Group, which includes residents, commuters, first responders and safety advocates.”

Future Malahat improvements will be mulled during development of the Vancouver Island Transportation Plan, exploring ways to improve the safe, reliable movement of goods and people by land, rail, air and sea.

Plan consultation was expected to start in the coming months.

Visit a high-resolution map of Malahat Drive construction here.

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