Early on Thursday, January 23, a large volume of rock fell on the rain-saturated ground during a scheduled blast, causing significant infrastructure damage unexpectedly. The highway was closed to traffic at the time of the blast.
The highway has remained closed to all traffic (excluding emergency vehicles) since the incident, and blockades were put in place at Sproat Lake and Ucluelet Junction to inform and redirect travellers.
The contractor worked non-stop through the night to build up the road base, and we are grateful for the crew and their round-the-clock effort to reopen the highway.
While some progress was made, the base did not build as quickly as project engineers had estimated. Overnight, the decision was made to bridge the damaged section of highway to open it as soon as possible.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure estimates a lengthy closure to install the bridge. As such, highway 4 will be opened for a limited window, today January 24th from 12 PM – 8 PM, for essential travel.
This includes visitors stuck on either side of the closure. However, traffic is limited to passenger vehicles and light-trucks only.
Vehicles will be screened at the Tofino/Ucluelet junction and at Sproat Lake. Larger vehicles, heavy loads, trucks with duallies, RVs, and vehicles towing trailers will not be let through.
Vehicles that travel in either direction today, will not have a guaranteed timeline for return travel to their departure destination.
Please note that Pacific Coastal Airlines continues to fly return from Tofino to YVR South Terminal.