West coast communities brace for another 24-hour Kennedy Hill road closure

Denise Titian, February 7, 2020

After a mishap forced the Highway 4 to be closed in late January, the road eventually opened up a narrow passage on the cliff above Kennedy Lake. A temporary bridge is currently in place. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure video still)

Kennedy Lake, BC — 

The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is warning travelers of Highway 4, which links Port Alberni to Tofino, Ucuelet and other west coast communities, to prepare for a planned 24-hour closure.

The road was closed following a blasting mishap over the Jan. 24 weekend. It was during the late-night scheduled blast that more rock than expected came down, taking out a large portion of the road. With no alternative for a detour, the road was closed until a bridge could be brought in; but it was a temporary fix.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says that more rock above the damaged road will be blasted away in order to complete the work.

For this reason, the ministry is advising drivers that the section of Highway 4 at the Kennedy Hill construction project will close from 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23 to allow for a permanent slope repair.

“This 24-hour closure is required for crews to remove the specialized 20-metre, single-lane temporary bridge structure installed earlier this month after a large volume of rock damaged the road,” the ministry stated. “The bridge removal and permanent slope repair at this location are necessary for blasting to continue, allowing the project to stay on schedule for completion by the end of summer 2020.”

The road will re-open at 11 a.m. on Feb. 23 to single-lane alternating traffic, allowing commercial vehicles, recreational vehicles and other larger vehicles to safely travel the corridor.

The statement says further that the closure has been planned for a weekend to avoid disruption of commercial deliveries and daily commuters.

For more information about the Kennedy Hill project closure schedule, along with the most up-to-date information on road conditions, drivers are encouraged to check: www.drivebc.ca

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure thanks motorists and residents on both sides of the closure for their patience.

The project is scheduled for completion later this summer. When finished, the Highway 4-Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement Project pledges to create a safer and more reliable connection between Port Alberni and the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Learn More:

General project information and traffic schedules are available: www.gov.bc.ca/highway4kennedyhill

Visit the project page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eac.bc.ca.kennedy.hill/

Follow @DriveBC and #BCHwy4 on Twitter, or visit: www.drivebc.ca