Daytime road closures have returned to Highway 4, the only paved roadway connecting Vancouver Island with its west coast communities of Port Alberni, Tofino and Ucluelet.
The roadway will be closed in the Cameron Bluffs area between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. every weekday until approximately mid-August so that crews can finish rock scaling and other safety work.
While the work is underway, the highway will be open to single-lane traffic during weekdays for a two-hour window, between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
During this time, westbound traffic will be allowed to move from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and eastbound traffic will be moved from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Otherwise, traffic will be open on a single-lane alternating basis before 9 a.m. on weekdays, after 5 p.m. on weekdays, and will be open to single-lane alternating traffic overnight and on weekends.
“This work is required before the highway can be safely reopened to two-way traffic, expected by mid-August,” said the province in a release Monday.
“The timing of this work is crucial,” the province added. “Given its complex nature, rock scaling must be completed during good weather, before winds and rains pick up in the fall.”
A lengthy detour along unpaved logging roads between Lake Cowichan and Port Alberni remains open.
The daytime closures come after Highway 4 was closed overnight Sunday due to high winds in the Cameron Bluffs area.
The strong winds forced crews to lower protective wire mesh at the site, which is in place to catch potential falling debris caused by the recent wildfire.
“In high winds, the mesh must be lowered, which puts the site at increased risk of falling debris,” said the province.
The latest information on road closures can be found on the DriveBC website.