Two of the larger communities on Vancouver Island are on their own for a bit. A “major road failure” has left Tofino and Ucluelet isolated from the rest of the island.
“Overnight during a scheduled blast, the rockfall compromised the road structure,” reads a DriveBC update.
“Highway 4, in both directions. Roadway obstruction between Toquart Bay Rd and Nahmit FSR….Road closed. Assessment in progress.”
Highway 4 is the only road that joins urban centres on the island’s southeast coast, including Victoria and Nanaimo, with the island’s west coast tourist destinations and waterfront communities.
There are private floatplane services available in both towns.
Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne shared news of the road closure on social media.
“Travelled through the rainstorm to make it home last night - now the world is cut off from us,” she wrote. “#BCHwy4 is closed ‘til 5pm due to rock on the road at Kennedy Hill - please follow @DriveBC and visit http://drivebc.ca for updates.”
Osborne also shared a time-lapse video there that captured her journey through the construction zone where the incident occurred.
She later told CBC News that the damage is quite bad.
"The rock that came down on the road compromised an existing retaining wall along the edge of the highway,” he explained. “Then a section of the road failed, so they've lost the travel lane.
"There are engineers and crews on site and they are determining what the next steps will be."
DriveBC is scheduled to deliver an update on the situation at 12 p.m. today (January 23).