Sinkhole closes Hwy 4 in both directions

"We had two months of rain and the clay and the road base here couldn't take it anymore."

  • Dec. 3, 2016 2:00 p.m.
A portion of Highway 4 collapsed on Friday evening

A portion of Highway 4 collapsed on Friday evening

NORA O’MALLEY

nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

A sinkhole located about five kilometres east of the Tofino-Ucluelet junction has closed Highway 4 in both directions. An official detour has not been mapped out.

The highway collapsed Friday night. Nobody was injured. Construction crew from Emcon Services Inc. were on site when the road got washed away yesterday.

“The road has been failing for a week. We were concerned last week. We were waiting for a geotechnical engineer to give us some guidance. We had two months of rain and the clay and the road base here couldn’t take it anymore. It got saturated and couldn’t hold itself together,” said Emcon services manager Oliver Watson.

Emcon staff tried to salvage one lane on Friday, but Watson said the road was too saturated underneath and couldn’t be saved. He said that portion of the road was happened to be clay.

Emcom has approximately 16 staff working all day Saturday to clear the road.

“My goal today is to open it up to single-lane traffic sometime later this evening. It’s obviously a large hole and we have a lot of trucks hauling to and from the site. Our goal is to opening it up to single lane tonight,” said Watson.

“What happens after that we will make a determination then but our number one goal is to open the highway up,” he said.

Emcon will be posting progress updates on www.drivebc.ca.

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