Highway 4 is on track to fully reopen next week, in time for unimpeded Labour Day long weekend travel to the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Both lanes should open nearly three months after a wildfire on Cameron Lake Bluffs destabilized the cliffs above, creating safety hazards that forced the highway’s closure in early June.
The highway was reopened to single-lane, alternating traffic later that month as work continued above, with full closures required at times to allow for more intensive work along the seven-kilometre stretch.
On Thursday, Highway 4 was closed throughout the day for a second time, so crews could remove about a dozen refrigerator-sized boulders from Angel Rock, the most challenging section of the bluff. Crews also placed 700 metres of roadside barrier and resurfaced sections of the highway that day, the second such full-day planned closure.
More scaling is still needed at Angel Rock, however, so another closure is planned on Tuesday, Aug. 29, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for that complex work.
On other days before the full reopening, the section of highway will continue to be closed twice daily, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1:30 to 5 p.m., as work continues. No closures are expected overnight or on weekends.
A more challenging detour route to the western communities of Port Alberni, Tofino and Ucluelet will stay open until Highway 4 fully opens.
Travellers will know exactly when that happens as all signs and checkpoints will be dismantled at that point.
Crews working for the Ministry of Transportation have so far removed about 200 dangerous trees and 1,000 tonnes of rock debris on the stretch just west of Cathedral Grove (MacMillan Park). Other work includes putting up barriers and catchment fencing, bolting rocks to stabilize the bluffs and pavement patching.
For updates on Highway 4 closures until the reopening, check DriveBC.ca.
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