An electronic sign at the Tofino-Ucluelet junction notifies travellers that closure windows are in effect. (Andrew Bailey photo)

An electronic sign at the Tofino-Ucluelet junction notifies travellers that closure windows are in effect. (Andrew Bailey photo)

Province announces changes to Tofino-Ucluelet highway closures

The closures are due to a $38 million Kennedy Hill Safety Improvements Project.

The New Year will bring a new highway closure schedule for travellers heading in and out of the Tofino-Ucluelet region.

B.C.’s ministry of transportation and infrastructure announced on Monday, Dec. 14, that the current 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. closure will shift to 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every weekday beginning Jan. 5.

The closures are due to a $38 million Kennedy Hill Safety Improvements Project being paid for by the provincial and federal governments.

The closure shift comes after the project’s contractor Emil Anderson Construction launched an online survey on Nov. 23 asking residents for input on the closure times and announced on Nov. 26 that the 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. closure would move to 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. based on the survey’s results.

Thank you to everyone that participated in our survey. The majority of people requested us to change our closures to…

Posted by EAC Hwy 4 Kennedy Hill Project Updates on Thursday, November 26, 2020

The contractor’s announcement sparked confusion however as the ministry said no schedule changes had been approved or authorized and that the closure windows had not changed.

The ministry’s Dec. 14 announcement suggests it will indeed abide by the survey’s results.

“The new closure window follows input recently received from local residents, commercial operators and local stakeholders,” the ministry’s Dec. 14 announcement reads. “On-site geotechnical investigations determined that the safest time to blast is during daylight hours, to allow for safe and efficient removal of loose rock after each blast. Daytime blasting and scheduled road closures are expected to be required through spring 2021.”

The Tofino Long Beach chamber of commerce wrote a letter to the ministry in October urging for a change to the 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. closure window because of the negative impacts that closure time was having on both businesses and residents.

The chamber’s executive director Jen Dart told the Westerly News on Monday that she was happy to see local voices heard.

“A daytime closure at any time is obviously going to continue to inconvenience West Coast residents, but the Chamber board is pleased that the ministry took our members’ concerns seriously and acted on them. We hope this type of communication and collaboration can continue for the duration of the project,” Dart said.

The Ucluelet chamber of commerce had supported Tofino’s push for a change and also expressed gratitude for the shift.

“While the change in time poses issues for some businesses, it benefits the majority, so we’re happy that our voices were heard and considered,” Ucluelet chamber of commerce executive director Laurie Filgiano told the Westerly.



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: Survey swirls up confusion around Tofino-Ucluelet highway closures

READ MORE: Tofino chamber says Hwy. 4 closure schedule hurting businesses and residents

READ MORE: Timeline pushed back for Tofino-Ucluelet highway construction project

Tofino,Transportationucluelet

Just Posted

From left: Thomas Kuecks, David Lane, John Ivison, Denis Berger, Rod Gray, and James Kuecks are Cabin Fever. Catch their performance on the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre website. (Ashley Foot photo)
A&E column: Music Festival winners, CVAC awards, and Cabin Fever

The latest from the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment community

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley MLA Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

BC Green Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

The city-owned lot at 361 St. Julien St., which has been home to a temporary homeless site for more than a year, will be sold and plans are to build a three-storey mixed-use development there, Peter de Verteuil, Duncan CAO explained at a recent council meeting. (File photo)
New development planned for homeless site in Duncan

Lot on St. Julien Street would see three-storey building

Historian and longtime Citizen columnist T.W. Paterson photographs the historical wreckage of a plane on Mount Benson. Paterson recently won an award from the British Columbia Historical Foundation. (Submitted)
Cowichan’s Tom W. Paterson wins award for historical writing

British Columbia Historical Federation hands Recognition Award to local writer

This electric school bus is the newest addition to the Cowichan Valley School District’s fleet. (Submitted)
Editorial: New electric school bus good place to start

Changing public transit like buses to electric really is important.

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

Most Read