45- to 90-minute delays on Malahat into Victoria blamed on heavy traffic

Travellers who spent their B.C. Day long weekend up Island were treated to heavy traffic on the Malahat as they crawled into Greater Victoria.

Drive B.C. reported delays of between 45 and 90 minutes in the southbound lanes of the Malahat on Monday afternoon and evening. The traffic was likely made up of weekend campers and the thousands of people who attended the Sunfest Country Music Festival near Lake Cowichan between Friday and Sunday.

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Drivers took to Twitter and Facebook to rant about the stand-still traffic as cars baked in the sun.

Heather Devine wrote that it took one hour to get to the top of the Malahat from Bamberton, a drive that would normally take 10 minutes.

“Another long weekend wall of traffic on the Malahat,” Devine wrote.

Manusha Janakiram wrote that it took her an hour and a half to drive the Malahat southbound.

A woman tweeting under the handle @lisaannr wrote: “This is the worst traffic I have ever seen. And I live in the Lower Mainland so that’s saying something.”

Molly Tov wrote that the southbound lanes were moving at a snail’s pace, backed up all the way to Mill Bay. Some drivers took a detour via Shawnigan Lake Road in an effort to avoid the crawl.

Some drivers reported seeing cars pulled over on the shoulder after overheating. Several drivers, posting on the Malahat Road Conditions Facebook group, reported seeing a driver pull over in the far left lane and turn off her engine close to Split Rock.

“It was a mind boggling sight,” wrote Jaimie Cote. “Her car was almost on the road and she was just sitting in the bush resting beside it.”

Traffic was heaviest in the late afternoon and early evening. By 7:30 p.m. drivers posted on Facebook to report that the traffic had cleared up between Mill Bay and the summit.

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