Trees are being removed along Highway 4 as part of a roughly $38 million upgrade being paid for by the provincial and federal governments. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Trees are being removed along Highway 4 as part of a roughly $38 million upgrade being paid for by the provincial and federal governments. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Construction on Hwy. 4 halted after tree crashes into traffic

Trees cleared along the highway between Port Alberni and the Tofino-Ucluelet junction.

Construction work along Hwy. 4 has been suspended after it caused a tree to crash onto the highway where it collided with vehicles on Thursday afternoon.

Trees were being cleared along the highway near Kennedy Hill as part of a roughly $38 million improvement project, being split between the provincial and federal governments, to increase the safety of a curvy 1.6-kilometre stretch of road.

“The incident today on Highway 4 was extremely unfortunate and we are relieved no one was injured. The ministry would like to thank travellers for their patience while crews confirmed everyone’s safety and then worked to remove the tree and reopen the highway,” a spokesperson for B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure told the Westerly News.

“Construction activities are suspended while the ministry investigates the incident with the construction contractor. Once we have more answers, an action plan will be developed to ensure no further incidents.”

Posts on social media suggest the incident occurred around noon. The highway was closed temporarily, but was open again around 1 p.m.

Last Thursday, the Hwy. 4 construction project caused an eight hour power outage on the West Coast as rock blasting work sent a boulder crashing into a B.C. Hydro pole.