Beginning on Monday, July 17th, road crews will begin work on stabilizing the slopes along Highway 4 where the Cameron Lake Bluffs fire impacted travel through the corridor.
The province says this work is critical to creating long-term safety on the only highway connecting Port Alberni, Tofino and several other communities to the rest of Vancouver Island.
It has been determined via a geotechnical analysis that rock scaling must be done before the corridor can be reopened to two-way traffic.
The rock scaling will involve removing loose rocks and boulders from higher up up the bluffs and while this work is underway, the highway will have to be closed to protect crews and commuters form the hazardous rockfalls.
The highway’s full closure won’t take place until mid-August. During that time the road will be closed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. over a five-day period, Monday to Friday. A two-hour window will allow for vehicles to pass through the corridor every day during that week between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
“This is a crucial step to ensure Highway 4 can fully reopen as soon as possible, end single-lane-alternating traffic, and keep goods and people moving into our western communities,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
“We know this has been a challenging time for businesses and the tourism sector on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and we thank people for their patience as we work as quickly as possible to get this main corridor safely operating at full capacity again.”
Besides the one week period where rock scaling will take place, Highway 4 will continue to operate on a single-lane-alternating traffic basis, as it is currently.
According to the province, commuters and commercial vehicles would expect long queues and lengthy travel times when passing through the affected area.
The logging road detour route which was opened while the Cameron Lake Bluffs wildfire caused the highway to close will remain open during the coming months of roadwork.