(Section of Hwy 4 at Kennedy Hill/BC Transportation and Infrastructure - Facebook)

The Highway 4 construction project, which is making improvements to the road that connects Vancouver Island to Tofino and Ucluelet, has been delayed until fall of 2022, the BC Ministry of Transportation said.

The Ministry said that the Kennedy Hill safety improvement project has been delayed due to a variety of reasons including the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for smaller blasts due to the fractured nature of the bedrock and increased environmental protections.

The ministry said the rest of the development is more straightforward and that further delays are not anticipated.

The project’s delay is likely frustrating news to some.

Highway 4 goes through weekday closures between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., which prevents anyone from travelling in and out of that side of the Vancouver Island west coast.

Additionally, the construction on the highway improvement project has dragged on and the cost has ballooned to $53.96 million from its initial $38.1 million investment, partly due to the nature of the construction.

Part of the delay, the ministry said, was due to repairs to Highway 4 resulting from blasting damage at the project site in January 2020.

The hardest part of the project – the blasting of bluff faces over 50 metres high is the – is intended to be finished this winter.

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