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Hill 60 getting its highway camera back

Director Ian Morrison says this Skutz Falls webcam will soon have company in addressing road condition questions for those travelling between Duncan and Lake Cowichan. - DriveBC
Director Ian Morrison says this Skutz Falls webcam will soon have company in addressing road condition questions for those travelling between Duncan and Lake Cowichan.
— image credit: DriveBC

Score one for the people who want to be prepared.

The public outcry from those who wanted the Highway 18 traffic camera returned to Hill 60 has worked, according to Skutz Falls Director Ian Morrison.

"Ministry (of Transportation) staff confirmed to me last week that new, state-of-the-art, DriveBC webcam equipment will be installed this spring/summer and will be in operation for next fall and winter's viewing," Morrison said in a letter to local media. "I have been promised we will have at least the same level of service provided by the old Mainroad equipment, with the benefit of new technology providing the images."

Morrison said the ministry was initially surprised when he told them about the degree of concern in the community, but come around when he pressed the issue.

"So many of you who regularly use that particular webcam at Hill 60, contacted me and shared how important the images from the Hill 60 site were for making decisions about travel during the inclement weather in the winter," Morrison said.

"I pressed the fact that Highway 18 can be a dangerous stretch of road and that when driving conditions are less than perfect, the number of accidents and vehicles that end up in the ditch increases dramatically. I insisted that based on comments I had received, nothing less than a new webcam at Hill 60 would satisfy the community's demands."

He said 24-hour access to webcam images may eventually become possible in the winter, but it would require funding for a lighting project at the webcam site.

The previous camera at Hill 60 was moved last year to a new site near Mesachie Lake. It was owned and operated by the maintenance contractor Mainroad, who felt it would be more useful to them there.

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