Travel to Tofino is about to become a little more challenging than just the long twisting road between Port Alberni and the coast. For the next two years, the Kennedy Hill section of Highway 4 will be undergoing major changes (scheduled to be completed by 2020) including a pull-out area and widening of the road. While the changes should greatly improve the drive for both safety and enjoyment, this does have a lot of impact for locals and visitors who use the road. The construction will mean delays and single-late alternating traffic. Check out the details you need to know below!
Depart Port Alberni by 7:30pm to avoid long/overnight delays
Expect 30-minute delays and Single Lane Alternating Traffic
Expect 1-3 hour delays overnight
Expect single lane alternating traffic between 7am-10pm year-round
Traffic stoppages are not allowed on Friday evenings between 10pm-midnight
Traffic stoppages are not allowed during long weekends (including the day before and after) – this doesn’t include single lane alternating traffic
You can check out the stoppage schedule here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-infrastructure/projects/highway4kennedyhill/traffic-advisories
With at least thirty minutes of delay almost guaranteed for your travel day, it’s good to make sure you have enough food, water and fuel for the vehicle. Note also that there is no cell service for most of the distance between Port Alberni and the Tofino-Ucluelet Junction, and no gas stations between Port Alberni and Tofino. Only two washroom stops are available and while there are some slow vehicle pull-outs, areas to stop on the highway are few and far between. Also be aware that the roads are winding (so those prone to car-sickness should be prepared), and large trucks are often on the roads.
If driving winding roads and delays sounds unappealing, you always have the option to fly into the Tofino Airport! Serviced by a number of airlines, you can depart from a variety of destinations on mainland B.C. and Vancouver Island to get to Tofino.
For more information and updates, check out this website: