Starting July 6, 2021, night-time construction is resuming on the Highway 4 Kennedy Hill improvement project to avoid extended midday closures.
This will enable safe working conditions for workers, while reducing inconveniences for travellers, as the project enters the final phase of completion.
Daytime closures have been in place since last year to allow crews to safely undertake some of the most complex blasting on the project. The blasting is necessary to widen and straighten the highway following along the high rock bluffs beside Kennedy Lake. It will continue into the summer, but with the most challenging blasting complete, work can now also take place at night.
Nightly closures will take place from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. (except Saturday nights). Any changes to night-time closure windows will be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.
Traffic releases will happen at the top of every hour to fully clear all queues via single lane alternating traffic through the day. Drivers can expect delays of about 30 minutes when arriving for the top-of-the-hour closures between 2 a.m. and 8 p.m.
A variety of factors, including the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for smaller blasts due to the nature of the fractured bedrock, increased environmental protections and the repairs to Highway 4 resulting from blasting damage at the project site in January 2020, have contributed to a new projected completion date. The project is now expected to be completed in summer 2022.
These events have resulted in a revised budget, which has been increased to $53.96 million from $38.1 million. The project budget includes $13.5 million in federal funding under the New Building Canada Fund.
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 project will benefit the surrounding communities by stimulating economic development and tourism opportunities that rely on this vital corridor.
The ministry thanks area residents and other travellers who rely on the highway for their patience during the construction period.
- Improved drainage ditches and rock fall protection measures, along with wider shoulders, will improve safety for everyone who travels the highway, including drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
- The project will benefit commercial and recreational vehicles with a reduced road grade and elimination of the overhanging rock. This will make the drive safer and easier to navigate, especially for larger vehicles.
- The new rest area and viewpoint will be a benefit to area tourism.
To listen to the travel information hotline message, updated daily during construction, call 1 855 451-7152.
For the most up-to-date information before travel, check: www.DriveBC.ca
Follow @DriveBC and #BCHwy4 on Twitter.
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 more information on the Emergency Support Hubs for commercial truck drivers, RVs and campers, contact Pacific Rim National Park Reserve at 250 726-3524.
Guidance to construction sites operating during COVID-19 is available online: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0002-000542