In an effort to bring consistent and predictable highway-closure times to the people of Tofino and Ucluelet, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has revised the blasting strategy for the Highway 4 Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement Project.
The new blasting strategy will start on Sept. 30, 2020. Highway 4 will close weekdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. to allow crews to safely facilitate smaller blasts and remove the rock debris from the roadway. This closure window will happen Monday through Friday, not on weekends.
Smaller and more precise daytime blasts, with sufficient time to clear debris, will help boost safety for people and will limit unplanned highway closures like those experienced by drivers in the early spring of 2020.
The weekday closures will be consistent and will allow people who live in neighbouring communities to plan their day and driving activities accordingly.
The new plan has been made following extensive onsite geotechnical investigations, which have determined that the safest time to blast is during daylight hours. This will allow for safe and efficient removal of loose rock after each blast.
Daytime blasting and scheduled road closures are expected to be required until spring 2021. Next spring, after the bulk of the challenging blasting is complete, conditions will be re-evaluated to determine if night-time blasting can safely resume.
As the project progresses, the ministry will have more information on overall project completion dates. Blasting for this project is expected to be completed by next summer.
In the meantime, drivers can expect scheduled closures permitted from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., noon to 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Drivers can continue to expect single-lane alternating traffic with up to 30-minute delays all other times.
Once complete, the Highway 4 Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement Project will create a safer and more reliable connection between Port Alberni and the west coast of Vancouver Island. The highway is being widened to accommodate two full lanes and paved shoulders, including roadside barrier on the lake side of the highway. Also, re-alignments are being made to the highway to remove sharp blind corners, straighten the road and improve the safety and reliability of the highway for all drivers.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure thanks people who rely on the highway for their patience and understanding during construction.
For the most up-to-date information on road conditions, drivers are encouraged to visit: www.DriveBC.ca
Call 1 855 451-7152 to listen to the travel information hotline message, updated daily during construction.
General project information is available here: www.gov.bc.ca/highway4kennedyhill
Visit the project page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eac.bc.ca.kennedy.hill/
Follow @DriveBC and #BCHwy4 on Twitter