The long delays for trucks and other vehicles using Highway-1 between Victoria and the rest of Vancouver Island, or trying to take the Mill Bay to Brentwood Bay ferry, are a major headache for businesses on Vancouver Island.
Julie Scurr, President of the Duncan Chamber of Commerce says the highway is an important link for people and economic activity.
“We have a lot of people that commute back and forth between Victoria and the Cowichan Valley, and obviously further up island, and do sales work all the way up and down the island, so this is having a huge impact.”
She also says retail outlets face difficulty restocking shelves, and the loss of important transportation links between Vancouver and the rest of the country is not helping.
Scurr says it’s time for serious discussions on an alternate route and getting trains running again on the former E and N railway line.
She says there’s a “need to be looking at some alternate transportation routes and also how we can get the train, the train corridor back into play” so that a single weather event doesn’t shut down transportation.
The repair work continues on the section of Highway-1 north of Langford where heavy rain washed out a section of the shoulder and long lines of vehicles are waiting to get through.
The same situation will be encountered by people trying to use the Mill Bay to Brentwood Bay ferry.
During the day the highway is open to single-lane alternating traffic and it’s closed overnight.
Corporal Chris Manseau of the RCMP recommends putting off non-essential travel so that truckers and people who are on essential trips are able to get through more quickly.
Manseau says there have been no major problems reported to police, but warns the lines are long and the best plan is to delay non-essential travel.