The latest schedule for Hwy. 4 shows no daily closures for blasting work, though motorists are advised to expect delays when travelling either in or out of the Tofino-Ucluelet region. (Ministry of Transportation)

Rock blasting along Tofino-Ucluelet highway put on hiatus

Commuters should still expect delays on Hwy. 4.

Rock blasting work on Hwy. 4 has been put on hiatus.

“The ministry and contractor are currently reviewing how best to complete the rock excavation while minimizing the inconvenience to people who rely on the highway,” a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure spokesperson told the Westerly News via email. “The remaining bluffs represent some of the most challenging rock in the entire project to manage. While this evaluation is underway, blasting operations have temporarily been put on hold.”

The blasting is part of the provincial and federal government’s joint $38 million Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement Project, which kicked off in 2018 with the intent of widening a roughly 1.5 kilometre stretch of the highway and removing an encroaching rockface. As of November, 400 blasts had been conducted and just under 90,000 cubic metres of material had been removed.

The oft-maligned blasting work has been blamed for frequent unscheduled closures over the past year as unpredictable rockfalls have shut down the only road connecting the Tofino-Ucluelet region to the rest of Vancouver Island, causing frustration amongst commuters and business owners.

A significant blasting mishap in January destroyed a portion of the road, leading to a three-day closure and the installation of a temporary bridge.

The ministry spokesperson added that “Emil Anderson Construction remains the prime contractor onsite” and drivers should still expect delays as work continues despite the blasting being paused.

“Work continues on the project, including construction of a concrete retaining structure, rock bolting and meshing operations around the site, and placement of final road base gravel at the north end of the project,” they wrote.

The project was initially scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2020, but the ministry announced in April that its timeline had been pushed back.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

READ MORE: Mayors call for “calmness” and “empathy” as highway closure cuts communities off from supplies

READ MORE: VIDEO: Highway closures hit travellers heading in and out of Tofino and Ucluelet


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

Just Posted

Tofino General Hospital Foundation raising funds for new equipment

“The doctors and nurses are worked off their feet.”

Surfrider Pacific Rim: Flash Clean Fridays

Grab your reusable gloves, bags and buckets and join Surfrider Pacific Rim’s newest initiative.

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation says more resources needed to keep Tribal Parks open during pandemic

Tribal Park Allies program needs more buy-in from Tofino businesses.

Tofino mayor Josie Osborne seeks B.C. NDP nomination for Mid Island-Pacific Rim

Longtime B.C. NDP MLA Scott Fraser announced on Monday that he will not be seeking reelection

Tourists’ vehicles vandalized in Tofino

Community steps up to support visitors.

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Long-term care need pressuring acute care in Comox Valley, Strathcona

Region could use a couple of large facilities for seniors on the north part of the Island

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

Most Read