Canada Completes Highway 4 in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
From: Parks Canada
Federal infrastructure funding investment supports connecting Canadians to nature
May 24, 2019 Ucluelet, British Columbia Parks Canada Agency
Parks Canada’s places represent the very best that Canada has to offer, and tell the stories of who we are, including the history, cultures, and contributions of Indigenous peoples. Parks Canada is improving visitor access through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, and helping more Canadians to safely experience the beauty of Vancouver Island.
Today, Parks Canada celebrated the completion of significant improvements to Highway 4 through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. These upgrades improve the safety of visitors and community members, ensuring a high-quality travelling experience through the national park reserve, while reducing long-term maintenance costs to this important roadway and achieving conservation gains for the park reserve’s ecosystem.
Highlights of the completed work include repaving and repairs along the entire highway and to some adjacent roads, the addition of a pedestrian controlled crosswalk at a popular day-hike area to enhance pedestrian and motorist safety, and the installation of new LED signs to broadcast critical, real-time, safety information.
As part of this funding, a deteriorated culvert at Wick Road on Sandhill Creek was replaced with a bridge, allowing salmon to once again readily reach spawning grounds and nursery habitat. A significant conservation gain, this project was the largest effort in salmon habitat restoration in the national park reserve’s history. As a result of the new infrastructure, the creek is flowing freely for the first time in 18 years, opening up additional spawning habitat for adult salmon and safe nursery areas for juveniles, as well as feeding grounds for bears. The restoration of this stream has benefits for the ecosystem and the subsequent long-term protection of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is located in the traditional territories of the Nuu-cha-nulth people. The improvements to Highway 4 through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve will benefit local communities, and visitors to the national park reserve.
“We are doubling the amount of nature protected across Canada’s lands and oceans, providing opportunities for more Canadians, especially young people, to experience the outdoors and learn about their environment. Highway 4 is the only route linking Tofino, Ucluelet, the First Nations Communities of Esowista and Ty-Histanis, many businesses, and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve to the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The infrastructure improvements to Highway 4 and the historic effort in salmon restoration in Pacific Rim will enable more Canadians to discover and connect with nature.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
- Parks Canada is responsible for the 21.4 km of Highway 4 that traverses the length of the Long Beach Unit in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Highway 4 is the only road that provides access to the west coast of Vancouver Island and to the towns of Tofino and Ucluelet, First Nations communities of Esowista and Ty-Histanis, many businesses, and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
- The Government of Canada invested approximately $10.1 million through the federal infrastructure investment program to conduct the improvements to Highway 4, adjacent roadways, bridges and culverts.
- Parks Canada is investing an unprecedented $3 billion over five years to support infrastructure work to heritage, tourism, waterway, and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada. This investment will ensure these cherished places are protected and secured for the future.
- Throughout 2019, the Government of Canada is participating in International Year of the Salmon events and continuing important work to protect salmon populations.
- The Government of Canada is pleased to continue to offer free admission to all Parks Canada’s places for youth aged 17 and under. By encouraging young people to discover nature and connect with history, we can help to inspire the next generation of stewards for these protected places. In celebration of diversity, Parks Canada continues to offer free admission to new Canadian citizens for one year through the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s Cultural Access Pass Program.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Parks Canada Agency
Acting Public Relations & Communications Officer
Coastal BC Field Unit