Highway 4 between Port Alberni and the Tofino-Ucluelet Junction will be shut down every night for three months this summer.

Highway connecting Tofino and Ucluelet to rest of Vancouver Island faces nightly closures this summer

Mayor says highway will be open from midnight to 1 a.m. and again from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m.

Parksville Qualicum Beach residents planning to guide guests or make their own trip to Tofino or the west coast in the coming year may want to take extra care to plan ahead. The only road that connects the west woast to East Vancouver Island looks like it will be shut down in both directions every night for three months next summer.

Canada’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Communities and B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure are splitting the cost of a roughly $27 million project that will upgrade a 1.5 kilometre stretch of Hwy. 4 roughly 14 kilometres east of the west coast junction.

The project is expected to get underway in April and take about two years to complete.

Ucluelet mayor Dianne St. Jacques told the Westerly News that Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure representatives presented to the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District board last week and outlined their plan to close Highway 4 in both directions every night from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. from June 15 to September 15.

During each nightly closure, the highway would open for two one-hour periods: from midnight to 1 a.m. and again from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m., according to Ucluelet Mayor Dianne St. Jacques.

She said the road is expected to remain open between 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., though commuters could face 30-minute delays with single-lane traffic.

“It’s not in stone at this point, but this is what they’re looking at,” St. Jacques said. “There’s so much to consider: the fire department, B.C. Ambulance, RCMP, so they’re still working through it. But, the project is slated to start in April, so we need to stay ahead of it as much as we can and inform our community as much as we can.”

She said Ucluelet’s council has urged the ministry to present its plan to West Coasters next month.

“I’m anxious to get them out here, having some public meetings and talking to people,” she said. “They are going to come out and we look forward to helping them organize meetings…Christmas is slowing it down a little as far as the communications bit, but they will be here, hopefully, by mid-January.”

She added she also hopes the ministry will meet with the Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce to ensure businesses are informed.

“We want to make sure that this doesn’t have a negative impact on our economy,” she said.

She said that, along with local commuters, the closures could have a big impact on delivery trucks and tourists arriving late at night and added that she hopes the ministry will listen to local concerns.

“It’s a tough job that they’ve got and I respect that. We’ve got to get this project done efficiently, on budget and safely so we just need to all work together on this and support each other,” she said.

The Westerly News has reached out to the ministry, but did not hear back by presstime.

Just Posted

Retired Nanoose Bay teacher ‘Set for Life’ after $675K lottery win

Shannon plans to buy new sails for his sailboat

Country music star Aaron Pritchett back in Qualicum Beach to play benefit concert

Singer to headline Thalassa restaurant fundraiser for Ronald McDonald house

Order in the chambers: Qualicum Beach votes for council code of conduct

Coun. Robert Filmer’s motion passes unanimously at town meeting

Rainbow crosswalk in Qualicum Beach covered in mysterious black substance

‘It was disappointing to see this act of disrespect take place inside our community’

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

UPDATE: Crown cross-examines B.C. father accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Most Read