Heads Up-Summer-Long Closures on Highway 4 to/from Ukee &Tofutown

Discussion in 'General Open Forum' started by Dogbreath, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. Dogbreath

    Dogbreath Well-Known Member

    No doubt a few people will get caught with their pants down & miss the ferry back to the mainland.
    Access to Tofino and Ucluelet to be restricted all summer for highway upgrades
    A section of Highway 4 will close overnight beginning in June
    By Bridgette Watson, CBC News Posted: Dec 29, 2017 3:54 PM PT Last Updated: Dec 29, 2017 3:55 PM PT

    A 1.5 kilometre stretch of Highway 4, the lone road connecting Tofino and Ucluelet to the rest of Vancouver Island, will close nightly from June to September to accommodate highway safety improvements. (Maryse Zeidler/CBC)

    • Summer road trips to Ucluelet and Tofino, B.C., could be challenging this year as highway upgrades will restrict access in and out of the West Coast communities from June to September.

    Highway 4 is the only east-west corridor on Vancouver Island that services the region. Upgrades are planned for a 1.5 kilometre stretch of the road, approximately 14 kilometres northeast of the junction where the road splits between the two popular tourist towns.

    Ucluelet mayor, Dianne St. Jacques, said the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure proposed a plan to shut the section of highway from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. from June 15 to Sept. 15 to accommodate construction.

    "These upgrades are a real solid improvement for safety on our highway," said St. Jacques. "It is something we have been lobbying for [for] years."

    According to St. Jacques, the ministry will hold public consultations in January to pinpoint two one-hour periods when the road will open each night between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.

    "They will be doing a lot of blasting work and most of that will happen during the night, so the road will be opened at minimal times," said St. Jacques.

    Local concerns
    Krissy Montgomery, owner of Surf Sister Surf School in Tofino, understands the need for highway improvements but is worried about the impact on her business.

    "I understand the long-term safety benefits, but the season to make money here is short enough and this is happening in the height of the season," said Montgomery.

    Montgomery also said she fears the closures will affect access for emergency vehicles.

    According to a statement from Tofino mayor, Josie Osborne, the Ministry of Transportation is consulting with local health authorities, the ambulance service, the RCMP and others to mitigate impacts to first responders.

    "It's vitally important for everyone to know that there are plans in place to deal with emergencies," said Osborne, who added that air transport is available for emergency medical evacuations.

    'Ultimately, it's worth it'
    "I anticipate that the first few weeks will be tough, but once we get used to it and adjust our schedules as best we can, we'll be able to live with it," said Osborne. "Ultimately, it's worth it to improve safety."

    According to the ministry, upgrades will includewidening the shoulder of the road, eliminating overhanging rock and creating a new rest area and view point to benefit area tourism.

    Road closures are only being considered for summer months, but construction is expected to last two years.
  2. Fishtofino

    Fishtofino Well-Known Member

    Thank God they are finally going to tackle that piece of the road. We have been waiting for decades for this.

    Anybody that is worried about loss of business because of this can stuff it.
    Dogbreath likes this.
  3. bigbruce

    bigbruce Crew Member

    Bang on, FT. Hard to imagine how night closures are going to affect all that much tourist traffic, but regardless, it's a potential bit of short term pain for long term gain IMO.
  4. wayne marwood

    wayne marwood Member

    The road needs lots of work , it will make it alot safer to drive there so more people will come there all year round ,
  5. casper5280

    casper5280 Well-Known Member

    That road is bad. This will affect me as we always leave Victoria after supper and drive in at night, launch and than sleep in the boat till morning. We do this so we can take are time and less traffic to deal with. Glad they are going to fix it , it's about time. Only negative I see is every time they make it better, the more people that come to fish that area. Same thing with the road to Port Renfrew. A little selfish I know, but true.
  6. Fishtofino

    Fishtofino Well-Known Member

    Until Whistler/Vancouver got those Olympics there was a rumor we were getting a whole new hiway that would be built over a different route but all the funding went in that direction.

    That was from someone that used to be on Tofino council.

    That road can be a handful, especially this time of year so any improvement will make it safer

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  7. Whitebuck

    Whitebuck Well-Known Member

    With all the ferry BS. Will really be considering flying now as everything in ukee is within walking distance....

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