Drivers are advised a section of Highway 4 at Kennedy Hill will be closed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on five consecutive Wednesdays starting on April 28, 2021, for the blasting and removal of a significant rock bluff.
The mid-week, 10-hour closures are required for crews to undertake multiple complex blasts on the project in an area of the bluff directly above the road repair site where a temporary bridge had to be used in spring 2020.
The daylight closure will allow workers time to prepare the road beneath the blast area at this previous repair location, and to safely and efficiently scale and remove loose rock from the bluff immediately following the blast before reopening the road.
A 10-hour closure to blast rock occurred last month. The contractor completed this blast and the highway reopened on time.
A similar degree of preparation in advance of each blast is required for these next five scheduled blasts. This includes protecting the road surface from a large boulder falling onto the surface above the previous repair site, which is necessary to preserve the overall integrity of the road.
The dates for the 10-hour closures are:
- Wednesday, April 28
- Wednesday, May 5
- Wednesday, May 12
- Wednesday, May 19
- Wednesday, May 26
It is anticipated that after May 2021, the complex high-risk blasting required on the remaining bluff will be substantially completed, and no further 10-hour closures will be needed to complete the project. It is expected that after the completion of these blasts, the contractor will be closer to moving to night-time blasting, as the busier summer months approach.
The regular project closure schedule of four-hour road closures on weekdays between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. will continue on the other weekdays.
An update on the overall project schedule is expected to be available following the completion of these remaining complex and high-risk blasts.
The ministry thanks motorists and residents on both sides of the closure for their patience. When completed, the Highway 4-Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement Project will create a safer, more reliable connection between Port Alberni and the west coast of Vancouver Island.
General project information and traffic schedules are available online: www.gov.bc.ca/highway4kennedyhill
Visit the project page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eac.bc.ca.kennedy.hill/
For the most up-to-date information on road conditions, drivers are encouraged to check: www.DriveBC.ca
And follow @DriveBC and #BCHwy4 on Twitter.
For 24-hour travel advisories updated daily, call toll-free: 1 855 451-7152