Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Commuters travelling in and out of Tofino-Ucluelet will be hit with 10-hour closures on Hwy. 4 for five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28.

In an April 14 announcement, BC’s ministry of transportation and infrastructure explained the closures are needed to conduct rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

For five Wednesdays in a row, we West Coasters will once again be demonstrating our resilience as 10-hour highway…

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The ministry’s announcement states that “multiple complex blasts” will be done in the same area a temporary bridge was installed last year after a blasting accident destroyed the roadway on Jan. 23, 2020.

“The daylight closure will allow workers time to prepare the road beneath the blast area at this previous repair location, and to safely and efficiently scale and remove loose rock from the bluff immediately following the blast before reopening the road,” the announcement reads.

READ MORE: Tofino-Ucluelet highway reopens after bridge installed earlier than expected

The highway will be closed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 28, May 5, May 12, May 19 and May 26 and an update on the construction’s timeline and budget is expected after blasting is completed.

“It is anticipated that after May 2021, the complex high-risk blasting required on the remaining bluff will be substantially completed, and no further 10-hour closures will be needed to complete the project. It is expected that after the completion of these blasts, the contractor will be closer to moving to night-time blasting, as the busier summer months approach,” the announcement reads.

The highway will continue to be closed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every other day of the week.

“The ministry thanks motorists and residents on both sides of the closure for their patience. When completed, the Highway 4-Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement Project will create a safer, more reliable connection between Port Alberni and the west coast of Vancouver Island,” the announcement reads.



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

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