Highway 4 reopens Boxing Day after crews cleanup rockslide

Highway 4 reopens Boxing Day after crews cleanup rockslide
(B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure/flickr)
Rock scaling is pictured taking place on Highway 4 in August 2023.

The only paved roadway between Vancouver Island’s western communities of Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino reopened on Tuesday afternoon following a rockslide on Christmas Day.

Highway 4 reopened to traffic around 2:20 p.m. on Dec. 26, after closing around 6 p.m. on Dec. 25.

The highway closed on the evening of Christmas Day because a “large rockfall” knocked down trees, causing them to crash onto the highway, according to the B.C. Ministry of Transportation.

No one was injured in the slide, which closed the highway between Cathedral Grove/MacMillan Provincial Park and Koen Road.

“In late afternoon on Monday, Dec. 25, two large rocks dislodged from the side of the bluff, hit the rockfall barrier and fell into the travel lanes,” said the province on Tuesday morning.

A geotechnical assessment was completed in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and cleanup efforts launched soon after.

No detour was available during the closure.

Year of disrupted traffic

In the summer, Highway 4 at Cameron Lake Bluffs was closed on June 6 due to a nearby wildfire, before fully reopening to two-way traffic again on Aug. 31.

During that time, the province removed debris from the highway and built 1.4 kilometres of barriers and catchment fencing to stop future debris from spilling onto the road.

Meanwhile, a detour was set up using logging roads around Cameron Lake.

However, in the fall, the province warned that the detour between Port Alberni and Lake Cowichan was no longer available.


Adam ChanAdam Chan

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