For five weeks starting next Wednesday, Highway 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino-Ucluelet will be closed from 8am to 6pm. The closures are so road crews can do some complex blasting. While some blasting can be done overnight, this blasting is so dangerous that it’s safest to do it during daylight hours.
Similar blasting happened on March 23.
In a Facebook post, MLA for Mid-Island Pacific Rim, Josie Osborne said that there’s a risk that boulders as large as dump trucks could fall from the top of the rock face. The road crews will spend the morning blasting and the rest of the day cleaning up to make sure the road is safe to drive on again.
Road closures are tough to deal with for people who live in the region. But Kennedy Hill was dangerous and the upgrade is needed. In an interview with the Westerly News, Tofino Mayor Dan Law said, “[i]t was a pretty treacherous bit of highway. I know over the 20 years I’ve been here, there’s been a lot of people that have lost their lives on that stretch of highway.”
Ucluelet Mayor Mayco Noel thinks now is a decent time to do this work. There isn’t as much traffic now because of the pandemic. He told the Westerly News that “[a]s much as it’s an inconvenience for the couriers and medical appointments, the reality is the Coast is slow.”
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure doesn’t know how long the construction will go on for. The highway is closed from 11am to 3pm every other day of the week.