Overnight closures scheduled for highway between Port Alberni and Tofino, Ucluelet

Overnight closures scheduled for highway between Port Alberni and Tofino, Ucluelet
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Nighttime construction is set to resume on the Highway 4 Kennedy Hill improvement project along the road that connects Tofino and Ucluelet to Port Alberni.

Starting on July 6, nightly closures will take place from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., except on Saturday nights.

The decision to close the road overnight for construction purposes is being made to avoid extended midday closures.

The improvement project has been causing routine daily closures of Highway 4 since last year as crews have been undertaking complex blasting on the project during the daytime.

The blasting is being done in order to widen and straighten the highway which runs along the high rock bluffs beside Kennedy Lake.

Outside of the nightly closures, traffic will continue to experience delays as the road is down to a single lane.

Traffic releases will happen at the top of every hour to fully clear all queues via single lane alternating traffic between the hours of 2 a.m. and 8 p.m.

“A variety of factors, including the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for smaller blasts due to the nature of the fractured bedrock, increased environmental protections and the repairs to Highway 4 resulting from blasting damage at the project site in January 2020, have contributed to a new projected completion date,” reads a statement from the B.C. government.

The project is now expected to be completed in summer 2022.

As a result of project challenges, the revised budget has been increased from $38.1 million to $53.96 million.

“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. The project will benefit the surrounding communities by stimulating economic development and tourism opportunities that rely on this vital corridor,” the government adds.

More project information can be found online at www.gov.bc.ca/highway4kennedyhill.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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