Highway 4 at Cameron Lake Bluffs will be temporarily closed this Thursday to allow crews to remove debris, according to the B.C. government.
B.C.’s Ministry of Transporation and Infrastructure says the highway will be closed from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 7 to give crews “ample time to collect and remove rock” that fell within catchment barricades on Tuesday.
“The minor rockslide was completely intercepted by the rock-fall mitigation barrier and fencing,” says the province in a news release. “The ministry’s geotechnical engineers evaluated the site and determined travel remained safe.”
The stretch of highway on Vancouver Island is the only paved road between Port Alberni and Coombs, and this won’t be the first time it’s been closed to traffic this year.
It was first closed on June 6 due to the Cameron Bluffs wildfire, then reopened to single-lane alternating a few weeks later. It eventually reopened to two-way traffic after crews completed rock scaling and slope stabilization work, but in the meantime, tourism operators in Tofino and Ucluelet saw an estimated $44 million in lost revenue.
During the work in the summer, a detour route was available between Port Alberni and Lake Cowichan, but this “is no longer in use,” states the ministry’s website.
Now motorists must brace for another, albeit temporary, closure.
“The ministry’s contractor requires this planned, full closure of the highway to perform the cleanup, which will involve equipment using the travelling lanes of Highway 4 while rock is removed from behind the barricades,” says the province.
Amid the closure, Mainroad Mid-Island Contracting is asking motorists to respect all roadside crews and slow down.
“Drivers are reminded to obey signs and traffic control personnel and watch for roadside workers,” it said in an email statement.
The province says the highway will reopen to traffic once the work is complete, with no further closures planned. It adds that people can check DriveBC’s website for up-to-date information about road closures.