Daytime Highway 4 closures come to an end March 11

Kennedy Lake, BC

After more than three years of long travel delays on Highway 4 to the west coast communities, residents will be pleased to know the end is in sight for the Kennedy Hill road improvement zone.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure made the announcement Feb. 16, saying the Kennedy Hill project has reached a milestone as extended daytime closures will end on March 11.

The new traffic schedule, beginning March 11, will look like this:

* On weekdays, traffic queues will be released at the top of the hour between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.

* On weekends, the road will be open to single-lane alternating traffic during the day from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.

* On weekends, from 8-11 p.m., traffic queues will be released at the top of the hour.

* Nightly closures will take place from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., with a release to clear queued traffic at 2 a.m.

The new schedule will be welcome news to west coast residents and businesses, shortening travel time between Port Alberni and the coast just in time for spring break.

The road improvement project began in September 2018 and was supposed to be finished by the summer of 2020. But several factors, including blasting mishaps and revamping plans, delayed the project, causing inconvenience for locals that rely on Highway 4, which is the only route that connects that part of the west coast to the rest of Vancouver Island.

“This new schedule is designed to make trip planning easier for families, business owners, tour operators and other travellers, especially heading into spring break,” said the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in their statement. “On weekends, single-lane alternating traffic during the day will limit wait times for drivers to about 15 minutes.”

The section of highway encompassed by the project is a notoriously narrow, windy section that hugs the cliff above Kennedy Lake. The improvements are possible from extensive rock blasting that allowed the road to be widened and made safer for travellers.

“The bluff-blasting portion of the project removed more than 150,000 cubic metres of rock to widen and straighten 1.5 kilometres of highway along the bluffs over Kennedy Lake. With this stage of the project completed, the contractor will shift focus to road alignment and grade lowering, which includes building support structures,” said the ministry.

The project is expected to be substantially completed by summer 2022 with finishing touches continuing throughout the fall.

Once complete, 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.

To listen to the travel information hotline message, updated daily during construction, call toll-free: 1 855 451-7152.

General project information is available online:

Visit the project page on Facebook:

For the most up-to-date information on road conditions, drivers are encouraged to check: ( and follow @DriveBC and #BCHwy4 on Twitter.

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