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.

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new councillors on March 6. (Westerly file photo)
Tofino’s mayoralty candidates lay out key differences

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new councillors on March 6.

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Clockwise from top right, chamber executive director Jen Dart moderated a Zoom-based forum last week where Tofino’s mayoralty candidates J.J. Belanger, Andrea McQuade and Dan Law made their pitch to lead their community. (Screenshot)
WATCH: Tofino mayoralty candidates face off at forum

Town to elect new mayor and two new councillors on March 6.

A man died in a house fire at the Ahousaht First Nation reserve on Feb. 17, 2021. (BP File Image)
House fire claims life of one man in Ahousaht

Investigation underway as tight-knit community mourns, foul play not suspected

Ucluelet locals Sophia Lounsbury and Charlotte Norman had a blast sliding through the snow at Tugwell Fields during Saturday’s rare winter wonderland on the West Coast. (Andrew Bailey photo)
POLL QUESTION: Did you enjoy the rare snowfall in Tofino-Ucluelet?

The West Coast transformed into a winter wonderland last weekend.

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Most Read