PORT ALBERNI – Two-way traffic will start flowing again this winter on the Kennedy Hill section of Highway 4, reducing delays for people travelling between Port Alberni and the west coast of Vancouver Island. Weather permitting, both lanes may be open by early in the new year.
This is a major milestone of the project to upgrade the 1.5-kilometre Kennedy Hill section to a safer, more reliable road for residents, tourists and truckers. The road has been straightened and flattened, with better visibility, wider travel lanes and shoulders, and new roadside barriers between the highway and Kennedy Lake.
The project, which is now more than 90 per cent complete, has removed overhanging rock, which was a hazard for commercial vehicles and a source of rockfalls onto the highway. A new rest area with washroom facilities and viewpoint will be accessible for all vehicle types. An improved drainage system will meet new standards that increase resiliency to the changing climate.
When both lanes are open, traffic impacts will be reduced to nighttime closures and minor interruptions during the day while the contractor continues to work toward final project completion in the spring. Conditions will be updated on DriveBC.
The $54 million project included blasting 180,000 cubic metres of rock on the bluffs and road base, drilling rock stabilization bolts into the hillside, installing retaining structures downslope from the highway to the lakeside and building two cantilever structures to widen the road.