Changes to Malahat highway near Bamberton announced

The B.C. transportation ministry says it’s making some immediate upgrades to the Trans-Canada Highway near Bamberton in advance of the opening of the new Malahat Skywalk visitor attraction.

The skywalk viewing platform, which opens July 15, is expected to draw more than 200,000 visitors annually. All of those visitors will have to travel the already busy Malahat highway, prompting the province to announce some immediate interim safety improvements.

“Increases in traffic volume, both expected and attraction-specific, have resulted in the need to reassess safety along this corridor,” said the ministry in a statement Wednesday.

The province is currently installing median barriers on the highway near the Malahat Skywalk to restrict left turns across traffic into the visitor area and an existing U-turn area.

Northbound drivers who need to make a U-turn will instead need to drive five kilometres to the Bamberton interchange before returning south.

Likewise, southbound travellers trying to access the skywalk will be directed to follow signs to an existing U-turn exit at the Malahat Chalet.

The province is reminding drivers to check for the most up-to-date traffic information before planning a trip.