Construction on a 1.6-kilometre stretch of Highway 4 will soon be underway to make the route safer. (B.C. Ministry of Transportation photo)
Drivers on their way to Tofino and Ucluelet can expect intermittent road closures in the 1.6-kilometre Kennedy Hill zone beginning on May 7.
The road contractor, Emil Anderson Construction [EAC], provided Ha-Shilth-Sa with a detailed schedule of times to expect road closures from 10 minutes to three hours, along with a hotline for drivers to obtain up-to-date information.
The “Kennedy Hill Safety Improvements” project will take place 14 kilometres northeast of the Tofino-Ucluelet Junction. The initial tasks include clearing trees and relocating overheard utilities. During this phase, traffic control personnel will be on hand when required to manage traffic closures “limited to a few minutes.” EAC project coordinator David Gourlay advises motorists to expect a minimum of 10 additional minutes travelling time during this phase of construction.
That picture changes in July.
“Starting in July, we will commence drilling and blasting activities. The highway will remain open between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., but may be single lane,” the advisory warns. The average travel time is expected to increase to about 30 minutes.
Blasting operations will take place between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., with road closures of up to three hours. During these periods, traffic controllers will conduct brief single-lane openings to allow motorists to proceed through the zone.
EAC has provided an hour-by-hour schedule of potential road closures for the June 15-September 15 peak season and the off-peak season that begins September 16. During the peak season, stoppages can generally be expected between 10 p.m. and midnight, 1 a.m. through 4 a.m., then from 5 a.m. through 7 a.m.
After September 15, additional stoppages may be expected from noon through 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. through 5 p.m.
The traffic advisory hotline can be reached at 1-855-451-7152, and will be updated daily. Updates will also be posted on electronic message boards located along the route, and additional information is available on the DriveBC.ca website.