Nightly closures coming to Highway 4 near Tofino, Ucluelet as project cost balloons to $54M
VICTORIA -- Nightly closures of the only highway in and out of Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim communities are set to resume next month.
British Columbia’s transportation ministry announced Thursday that nighttime closures would return to Highway 4 at Kennedy Lake starting July 6.
The closures will occur between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. every night of the week except Saturday, temporarily blocking all travel between Port Alberni and the communities of Tofino and Ucluelet.
Daytime construction will continue at the site, with single-lane alternating traffic allowed through intermittently. The ministry says drivers should expect delays of about 30 minutes between 2 a.m. and 8 p.m.
COST GROWS TO $54 MILLION
The ministry announced Thursday that the cost of the highway improvement project has grown to $53.96 million.
The original project budget was $38.1 million and work was expected to be complete by summer 2020. Now the province says the completion date is likely to be summer 2022.
Early last year, blasting at the Kennedy Hill site triggered a rockslide that cut off access to Tofino and Ucluelet for a weekend.
“A variety of factors, including the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for smaller blasts due to the nature of the fractured bedrock, increased environmental protections and the repairs to Highway 4 resulting from blasting damage at the project site in January 2020, have contributed to a new projected completion date,” the ministry said in a statement Thursday.
The project budget includes $13.5 million in federal funding under the New Building Canada Fund, with the remainder paid for by the province.
The full schedule of highway closures for the area is available here.