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Vancouver Island highway section to close for removal of rockslide debris

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says the rockslide was "completely intercepted" by barriers and fencing that were erected after summer wildfires sent trees, boulders and other debris crashing onto the highway. (B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure) The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says the rockslide was "completely intercepted" by barriers and fencing that were erected after summer wildfires sent trees, boulders and other debris crashing onto the highway. (B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
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A section of a major highway on Vancouver Island will be closed for four hours Thursday as workers clear rockslide debris that fell from the hillside amid heavy rains this week.

Highway 4 between Coombs and Port Alberni will be closed near Cameron Lake from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The highway is the only paved road connecting the western communities of Tofino, Ucluelet and Port Alberni with the rest of Vancouver Island.

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says the rockslide was "completely intercepted" by barriers and fencing that were erected after summer wildfires sent trees, boulders and other debris crashing onto the highway.

In a statement Wednesday announcing the temporary closure, the province said the ministry's geotechnical engineers have evaluated the site and determined travel through the area remains safe.

"The ministry's contractor requires this planned, full closure of the highway to perform the cleanup, which will involve equipment using the travelling lanes of Highway 4 while rock is removed from behind the barricades," the ministry said.

No further closures are currently planned for the highway, which fully reopened in September after nearly three months of rolling closures following the June wildfires.

The Tofino chamber of commerce estimated the summer closures cost the coastal communities of Tofino and Ucluelet a combined $44 million in lost tourism revenue.

  

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