The BC government has announced that the daytime closure schedule for the Kennedy Hill Improvement Project on Highway 4 will remain in place for the next several months.
Weekday closures from 5-7 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. are expected to continue through winter and into spring 2022.
The Province notes that outside of these times and all day on weekends, traffic queues will be released and fully cleared at the top of the hour, one direction at a time via single-lane alternating traffic.
These traffic releases will be followed by approximately 30- to 45-minute closures to accommodate work.
The decision to keep the daytime schedule through to next spring follows consultations with local residents, tourism operators and local businesses, according to the government. From these consultations, the government says that local residents feel that maintaining the current daytime closure schedule impacts daily routines, businesses and tourism operations the least.
No extended closures will occur over the holiday season between Dec. 18, 2021, and Jan. 3, 2022, with single-lane alternating traffic operating during that period, in an attempt to further limit disruptions for travellers.
Daytime closures have been in place since 2020 to allow crews to safely undertake some of the most complex blasting on the project, which is necessary to widen and straighten the highway along the high rock bluffs beside Kennedy Lake.
“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,” reads a statement from the Province.
“The project will benefit the surrounding communities by stimulating economic development and tourism opportunities that rely on this vital corridor.”
As part of the Kennedy Hill Improvement Project, travellers can expect improved drainage ditches, better rockfall protection measures, wider shoulders and a new rest area and viewpoint.