If you’re planning a trip to Tofino or Ucluelet, give yourself some extra time and brace for delays. The only road leading people to the two communities is still under construction.
Following consultation with locals and tourism operators, the Province of B.C. says the daytime closure schedule will remain in place for the Highway 4 – Kennedy Hill Improvement Project.
These closures, introduced in 2020, allow crews to safely undertake some of the most complex blasting on the project, deemed necessary to widen and straighten the highway beside Kennedy Lake.
Officials say weekday closures from 5 am to 7 am, and from 11 am to 3 pm, are expected to continue through winter and into spring.
Outside of these times and all day on weekends, traffic queues will be released and fully cleared at the top of each hour one direction at a time via single-lane alternating traffic.
According to the Province, this will be followed by approximately 30- to 45-minute closures to accommodate work.
However, during the holiday season, it says no extended closures will occur between Dec. 18 and Jan. 3, 2022, with single-lane alternating traffic operating during that period.
The daytime closure schedule will restart on Jan. 4, 2022.
“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 Province says.
Kennedy Hill Improvement Project completion date pushed back, budget increased:
Currently, Gov.BC.ca lists the project as 75 per cent complete.
The original expected completion was sometime in summer 2020, but numerous factors, including COVID-19, ultimately pushed expected completion to summer 2022.
As well, the project budget has been increased to $53.96 million from $38.1 million, the Province adds. This includes $13.5 million in federal funding under the New Building Canada Fund.