Coquihalla/Merritt/Hope– This time of the year, the expectations are that the Coquihalla will have icy, snowy and slushy conditions.
It’s another thing when the Province puts out a warning for the balance of the week.
From the BC Provincial website: Environment Canada has issued a travel advisory for the Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Merritt, as up to 30 centimetres of snow is expected to fall in the region by end of Wednesday. Independent forecasters suggest that could be followed by waves of heavy snowfall that continue through Friday. This follows a previous weather system that delivered approximately 25 centimetres of snow earlier this week.
So far this week, VSA Maintenance has implemented the Coquihalla Snowshed Protocol for 52 hours and anticipates that it will be implemented again to deal with the forecast.
A mandatory chain-up has been in effect as required for commercial vehicle operators, who are reminded of the enhanced regulations requiring an increase in the number of chains on their trucks, depending on weight and configuration. The new Box Canyon facility is intended for chain-up only and overnight parking is not permitted.
Commercial truck drivers are also reminded of the no trucks in the left lane pilot project, which restricts them from using the far-left lane on Snowshed Hill. This allows for better traffic flow (including emergency vehicles) and plowing operations, as well as significantly reducing the time it takes to get people moving after a full closure.