The road linking Tofino-Ucluelet to the rest of Vancouver Island in Canada has been reopened following the installation of a prefabricated 20m single-lane bridge.

The road was damaged by a rock slide caused by construction work for the Highway 4 – Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

In a statement, British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said: “Installation of the bridge was quicker than expected because bedrock was deeper than expected. This allowed for the bridge to be inset into the road grade, rather than above it, which would have required a substantial amount of approach ramp work.”

Upon its planned completion later this year, the Highway 4 – Kennedy Hill safety improvement project will create a more reliable connection between Port Alberni and the west coast of Vancouver Island.

The project is situated adjacent to Kennedy Lake, about 14km northeast of the Tofino / Ucluelet Highway 4 junction.

It begins at the south end of Kennedy Hill at the TR19 Creek culvert and continues up the hill towards Port Alberni for a distance of 1.5km.

Safety improvements include widening the highway to accommodate two full lanes and 1.5m paved shoulders, horizontal and vertical realignment work and the blasting and excavating of bedrock.

Emil Anderson Construction of Kelowna has secured a $29m contract for the project. Construction is scheduled to finish mid-2020.

The Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada have agreed to provide funding for the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvements project.