The Kennedy Hill project will begin reducing traffic disruptions starting on March 11, with the project expected to be substantially complete in the summer.
Construction on the project started in May 2018, with the goal of creating a safer and more reliable connection between Port Alberni and the west coast of Vancouver Island.
The safety improvements on the stretch include widening the highway for two full lanes and paved shoulders, horizontal realignments to remove sharp blind corners, and vertical realignments to reduce the 12 per cent grade.
On March 11, there will no longer be extended daytime closures. The closure schedule will change to:
- On weekdays, traffic queues will be released at the top of the hour between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- On weekends, the road will be open to single-lane alternating traffic during the day from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- On weekends, from 8-11 p.m., traffic queues will be released at the top of the hour.
- Nightly closures will take place from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., with a release to clear queued traffic at 2 a.m.
The project was initially estimated to cost $38.1 million, but increased to $53.96 million with 13.5 million in federal funding under the New Building Canada Fund.
After the project is substantially complete in the summer, finishing touches on the area will continue into the fall.