More daytime closures with Highway 4 reopening delayed for at least one month

More daytime closures with Highway 4 reopening delayed for at least one month
B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure/flickr

More headaches are coming for commuters along Highway 4, as the province plans for significant closures for repairs.

Rock scaling work will see the stretch of Highway 4 affected by the Cameron Bluffs wildfire closed Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until mid-August.

A geological assessment determined that rock scaling was required before reopening the highway to two-lane traffic. The work, which starts Monday, July 17, requires the highway to be closed throughout the day, with a two-hour window to flush traffic from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. daily.

“This is a crucial step to ensure Highway 4 can fully reopen as soon as possible, end single-lane-alternating traffic, and keep goods and people moving into our western communities,” says Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure in a statement.

Fleming added that he knows the closure has been a challenging time for local businesses and the west coast’s tourism sector.

Due to the nature of the work crews must work during the day and in good weather.

The highway will remain open on weekends, including the B.C. Day long weekend in August. Outside of the scheduled closures, the highway will continue to operate utilizing single-lane traffic.

Residents, travellers and commercial traffic are all allowed to use the road, with drivers urged to plan ahead and expect delays.

“This has been a difficult season for our all of our communities, and the faster we can get Highway 4 fully reopened, the faster we can count on the travel we rely on to support people and businesses in this region,” says Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim.

Tuesday’s announcement is a major departure from the province’s announcement on June 13, in which Fleming stated that Highway 4 would be open by mid-July.

The highway was first closed June 6 as crews were battling the Cameron Bluffs wildfire. A detour between Port Alberni and Lake Cowichan utilizing forest roads and private industrial roads was set up and will remain open for public use.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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