Major construction project on highway to Tofino and Ucluelet delayed

Work had been expected to begin March 1

Highway 4’s looming nightly closures have been delayed.

A $30 million construction project to straighten out a roughly 1.5-kilometre stretch of the highway near Kennedy Lake was expected to get underway on March 1, bringing daily traffic delays and nightly closures to the only road connecting the West Coast to the rest of Vancouver Island, but a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure spokesperson told Black Press that the deadline for companies to bid on the project’s contract was extended to give the ministry time to answer questions and clarifications.

“The contract closed on Feb. 22 and the ministry is now reviewing the bids,” the spokesperson said. “This process typically takes two weeks or more on large-scale projects such as this one. Following this process, we will be able to provide an update on the start of construction.”

The ministry hosted two public information sessions on the West Coast in January to collect feedback on the plan and local leaders consistently urged the ministry to consider pushing back the first nightly closure’s start from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. To give travellers time to pass through.

The spokesperson said that suggestion, along with other feedback, is still being reviewed.

“Information about how feedback received at the public open houses will be applied to the project will be available in the coming weeks,” they said.

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