Fraser Valley (with files from CBC/Global/CP) – Just at the start of the week, Highway repair crews were praised for their work on the Coquihalla.
BC Transport Minister Rob Fleming gave truckers a Christmas present during a news conference on Wednesday.
He said the reopening was “one of the most remarkable engineering feats in recent memory in the province of British Columbia.”
Commercial trucks and inter-city buses will be allowed through temporary access lanes.
There will be several speed reductions and one lane each way in damaged sections, and no power along the highway for snowsheds and chain-up areas. BC Hydro is still working on the washout grid.
Repairs are continuing to damage at more than 20 sites on the Coquihalla, spread over about 130 km between Hope and Merritt.
MONDAY OPENING – COQUIHALLA HWY Hwy 5 (Coquihalla) will open to essential traffic no later than the end of Monday, Dec. 20 (Exact time to be determined). Commercial and inter-city buses are authorized to use the route. There will be Increased maintenance and reduced speeds in some areas.
Hwy 99 (Pemberton to Lillooet) will open to general traffic at the same time as Hwy 5. Vehicles will continue to be restricted to nothing larger than a cube van.
Hwy 3 (Hope to Princeton) will open to general traffic about 24 hours after Hwy 5 re-opens. NOTE: This route is not recommended for motorists who are unaccustomed to winter driving in mountainous areas.
Chilliwack MLA Dan Coulter:
The Coquihalla Highway will reopen in a limited fashion to essential traffic (commercial vehicles and intercity buses) by the end of day on Monday, December 20. Thank you to the crews who worked so hard to get this important highway open for essential good and services!When the Coquihalla does re-open, the essential travel designation for Highway 3 and Highway 99 will be lifted, meaning regular passenger vehicles will be able travel those corridors. That will happen next week, with an exact day and time to be determined in the coming days. Highway 99 and Highway 3 are difficult highways to navigate. If you must travel these routes, make sure you’re well prepared for winter mountain conditions.
You can watch the announcement below: