(Highway 4 Kennedy Hill improvements / Province BC)

Drivers are being warned to expect delays along Highway 4 at Kennedy Hill as extensive, ongoing road upgrades enter the final stretch this fall.

In a media statement Friday, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said that commuters should be prepared for delays starting Tuesday, September 20th, through the fall.

Starting next week, drivers travelling to and from Ucluelet and Tofino should expect single-lane-alternating traffic seven days a week from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and hourly closures — with traffic queues that will be released at the top of each hour — from 5 a.m. until 3 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the Kennedy Hill section will be fully closed to traffic in both directions between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. to allow crews to place girders and deck-panels.

The Highway 4 – Kennedy Hill improvement project, which began in May 2018, will be substantially complete this fall, with finishing touches outside of the roadway continuing throughout the winter.

“Once complete, the project will create a safer, more reliable connection between Port Alberni and the west coast of Vancouver Island,” the province said in a media release.

The Kennedy Hill section is about 14 kilometres northeast of the Tofino-Ucluelet junction of Highway 4, which connects the two communities with Port Alberni.

The safety improvements over the 1.5 kilometre project length include:

  • Widening the highway to accommodate two full lanes and paved shoulders, including roadside barrier along the lakeside of the highway
  • Horizontal realignments to the highway to remove the sharp blind corners, straightening the road and eliminating the 30km/hr speed advisory curves
  • Vertical realignments to the highway to reduce the existing 12% grade along the hill
  • Blasting and excavating bedrock to accommodate the above, and eliminating the existing overhanging rock above the road surface that is a hazard to larger transport vehicles currently requiring them to cross centreline
  • Providing for rock slope stabilization and slope meshing to mitigate rock fall onto the highway, including a rock catchment ditch
  • Installing two cantilever bridge structures to straighten the alignment and reduce rock excavation volumes
  • The provision of a rest area with viewpoint on the lake side of the new highway, including an intersection to safely access the new facility by passenger vehicle, RV, bus, and transport truck

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