Frustrated after driving hours to get to Tofino, Thomas Fraser pleaded to be allowed through the Hwy 4 road closure Saturday. He’d arrived just moments after the last car in an allowed opening pulled through but was turned away, like all those behind him, before flaggers told them it would be Monday at the earliest before the Highway was re-opened.
“They said not till Monday now,” said Thomas Fraser.
“So it looks like our six month planned vacation is not going to happen,” said the tourist from the Okanagan.
“Well I have to turn around go back, obviously,” said Sherry Droneck, who lives on the Tofino side of the road closure.
“Not gonna stay here till Monday,” she said.
The flaggers told CHEK News the same information.
Yet the Ministry of Transportation insists that is a miscommunication on the ground, and they are still striving to install a bridge Saturday night. To re-open to traffic sometime Sunday, including RV’s and trucks that can bring in much needed groceries to Tofino and Ucluelet.
Fraser said the failure to communicate was no way to handle people’s long journeys.
“They’re not getting along and they’re not coordinating with each other,” said Fraser.
“So we’re dealing with one fighting for authority there,” he said.
The closure was caused early Thursday by a rock slide, which was sparked by blasting during road improvement work. It shut down the highway to Tofino-Ucluelet to all heavy trucks and RV’s since Thursday, and only allowed short openings to single lane alternating light traffic.
“It said on the radio that they thought heavy traffic was Sunday afternoon,” said Darlene June.
Ken and Darlene June have been parked in a pullout just before the rock slide, for a day and a half, because having driven all the way from Alberta, they learned at the road closure they that their trailer was too heavy to make it through the narrow road.
“We were kind of under the impression that there would be enough room,” said Ken Driver.
“To get through with a smaller trailer not these big trucks so,” he said.
Just after 7 p.m. the Ministry of Transportation announced Highway 4 would reopen to all traffic at 8 p.m. Saturday evening.