COURTENAY, B.C- The Inland Island Highway is likely getting closed down next month.
The shutdown is coming because of filming for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, which was originally slated to take place along Highway 19 between Buckley Bay and Cook Creek.
Because of planned paving work along the route, the films production was moved to the section of highway just south of Exit 117, near Courtenay and Cumberland.
Hedgehog Film Inc. is working with the Ministry of Transportation on the matter, with filming planned for September 10th through 14th, 2018 between the approximate hours of 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. each day.
September 16th and 17th have been listed as backup days in case of rain.
A detour route onto Highway 19A has been set up during filming hours, and Hedgehog Film Inc. will work to reopen the highway once production is completed each day, according to a letter given to Courtenay city council.
A secondary filming location was also proposed, at the Campbell River bypass of Jubilee to Willis Road. Prep on the original location was four months into the planning stage when it was discovered that paving would be taking place.
Municipal staff expected some issues with the turnoff at Cumberland, along with heavy traffic flow along 29 Street.
During the meeting, staff also indicated that a traffic control worker will be in place at the Cumberland highway turnoff, and City of Courtenay traffic engineers will be in place to control the traffic lights along 29 Street and onto the rest of the highway.
After discussion, Courtenay city council voted in favour of giving their support to the filming and the highway shutdown.