Hwy. 4 at Kennedy Hill has experienced shutdowns such as this one in January 2020 after a blasting mishap caused a rockslide and a temporary bridge had to be installed. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure photo)

Hwy. 4 at Kennedy Hill has experienced shutdowns such as this one in January 2020 after a blasting mishap caused a rockslide and a temporary bridge had to be installed. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure photo)

COVID-19: Highway 4 Kennedy Hill project scaled back

Road closure schedule has changed as Emil Anderson Construction modifies construction plans

The Highway 4 Kennedy Hill construction project will be scaled back to a single crew as British Columbia deals with coronavirus (COVID-19) health measures. This will affect road closures on the highway between Port Alberni and the west coast.

“Public health and worker safety are the top priorities for the B.C. government during the current COVID-19 pandemic,” Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Vancouver Island district manager Mike Pearson noted in a press release sent late Friday, March 20.

READ: Tofino asks tourists to postpone trip, return home

The ministry and Emil Anderson Construction (EAC) will comply with WorksafeBC advice to reduce capacity to a single crew at the Kennedy Hill construction site. Over the next two weeks, blasting activities will be limited, Pearson said. The focus will be preparing the site for blasts once a full crew is OK’d to return to the site.

Erin Pomeroy, project coordinator for EAC, said workers will use the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool, will practice social distancing, hand and hard surface hygiene and follow a strict isolation rule: no exceptions if showing symptoms of illness.

The move to a single crew will affect road closures on Highway 4 connecting Port Alberni with Ucluelet and Tofino. While there will be no complete closures, drivers are reminded there will be regular 30-minute delays and single-lane alternating traffic at all times from now until March 30.

READ: Tofino-Ucluelet highway reopens after bridge installed earlier than expected

Motorists are advised to arrive at the construction site at the top of every hour (9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., etc.) and to expect minor delays while opposing traffic clears.

“This is a rapidly changing environment and MOTIVATION will continue to engage with local communities and public to advise of changes to work as things continue to develop,” Pearson said.

Project information is available online at www2.gov.bc.ca/highway4kennedyhill and on the EAC Facebook page.

Drivers can call the traffic advisory hotline at 1-855-451-7152 for detailed and up-to-date information about Highway 4 construction at Kennedy Hill. Information will also be posted on electronic message boards at either end of the project on Highway 4 and information is updated regularly at DriveBC.ca.

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional DistrictConstructionCoronavirus