Highway 4 on Vancouver Island is on track to open to limited single-lane-alternating travel by June 24-25, 2023.
Crews have cleared the affected stretch of highway of fallen trees and debris from the hillside above and are installing temporary safety measures to allow the highway to reopen.
Safety measures include the installation of a temporary concrete barrier wall in the eastbound lane of Highway 4 as well as protective mesh curtains suspended by cranes. These will act as barricades to potential falling rocks and trees as the slope continues to recover from the wildfire.
The detour will remain in place until Highway 4 is fully open. Telus has established a mobile cellular tower at the midpoint of the detour, which provides a cellular reception range of approximately one kilometre.
Progress of work to reopen Highway 4
- Approximately 124 metres of roadside barrier has been placed on the Cameron Lake side of the highway.
- Materials are on site for the concrete barrier wall to be installed in the eastbound lane.
- Three segments of protective mesh curtain will be installed and all segments have been assembled and successfully tested.
- There are 32 pieces of equipment on site, including four cranes and two excavators.
- Approximately 50 people are working on site.
Support for communities and tourism
- The Province’s priority is to ensure goods and services continue to move to the communities counting on them.
- Approximately 1,000 thousand vehicles, including commercial vehicles, are accessing the detour route every day.
- Commercial vehicles continue to carry essential goods, such as food, fuel and medical supplies.
- Four piloted convoys of commercial vehicles are given priority access to the detour route every day.
- All gas stations in Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino are open with no limits on fuel purchases.
- Government representatives are working with the region’s two airports, Tofino-Long Beach Airport and the Alberni Valley Regional Airport, regarding affected travel. Both airports report being extremely busy and functioning well.
- At Tofino, Pacific Coastal Airlines is running two to three extra flights per day, with additional charter traffic underway.
- In Port Alberni, 20 to 30 charters per day are shuttling people to Qualicum Beach, Nanaimo and Victoria. Specific charter companies that have stepped up to meet demand include Iskwew Air, BC Air and Pacific Seaplanes (utilizing Sproat Lake).
- Helijet has also implemented service between Nanaimo and Port Alberni.
Highway 4 has been closed since June 6, 2023, to keep travellers safe as crews fought the Cameron Lake Bluffs wildfire and performed recovery operations.
Drivers are reminded to respect the direction of traffic-control personnel in the area.
For up-to-date information about road conditions, visit: https://www.DriveBC.ca
Images from Highway 4 and the detour route can be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tranbc/albums/72177720308899528/with/52962540906/