Highway 4 to be closed 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays starting Sept. 30

Highway 4 will be closed on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. for rock blasting starting on Sept. 30.

The Ministry of Transportation said the highway will be open on weekends.

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The province announced Sunday “consistent and predictable highway-closure times” in revising the blasting strategy for the Highway 4 Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement Project.

The four-hour closures on weekday mornings will allow crews to facilitate smaller blasts and remove the rock debris from the roadway.

The ministry said more precise daytime blasts, with sufficient time to clear debris, will limit unplanned highway closures like those experienced by drivers in the early spring of 2020.

The new plan follows geotechnical investigations, which have determined that the safest time to blast is during daylight hours. This will allow for safe and efficient removal of loose rock after each blast.

Daytime blasting and scheduled road closures are expected to continue until spring 2021. Next spring, after the bulk of the challenging blasting is complete, conditions will be re-evaluated to determine if night-time blasting can safely resume.

Blasting for this project is expected to be completed by next summer.

In the meantime, drivers can expect scheduled closures from 5 to 7 a.m., noon to 1 p.m., and 4 to 5 p.m. Drivers can continue to expect single-lane alternating traffic with up to 30-minute delays all other times.

The highway is being widened to accommodate two full lanes and paved shoulders, including roadside barrier on the lake side of the highway. Also, re-alignments are being made to the highway to remove sharp blind corners and straighten the road.

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