Hwy. 4 at Kennedy Hill will be shut down for 24 hours to allow crews to remove a bridge installed after a blasting mishap caused a rockslide on Jan. 23. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure photo)

Planned 24-hour closure looms for Tofino-Ucluelet highway

Highway 4 at Kennedy Hill will be shut down from 11 a.m. Feb. 22 to at 11 a.m. Feb. 23

Drivers will be blocked from leaving or entering Vancouver Island’s West Coast for 24 hours over the last full weekend of February as crews work to remove a temporary bridge that was installed on Hwy. 4 after a blasting accident caused a rockslide last month.

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

The blasting was being done as part of the provincial and federal government’s $38 million Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement Project.

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced on Tuesday afternoon that Hwy. 4 at Kennedy Hill will be shut down on Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. and is expected to reopen on Feb. 23 at 11 a.m.

“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 announcement reads. “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.”

READ MORE: Heavy rain has Ucluelet mayor concerned about Hwy. 4 construction schedule

The ministry added that the 24-hour closure was scheduled to occur over a weekend to avoid blocking weekday commuters and delivery trucks.

“The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure thanks motorists and residents on both sides of the closure for their patience. When completed later this year, 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 announcement reads.



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

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READ MORE: VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

READ MORE: Ucluelet mayor demands Wi-Fi for commuters stuck in Hwy. 4 construction closures

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