Province sets end-January schedule for opening Coquihalla to commercial traffic

Since then, crews have started to clean up and piece together what needs to be done to get traffic flowing on the road again. More than 100 pieces of equipment operated around the clock, according to Fleming. Blasting is in progress on three sites, equipment is mobilized on two others and the cleaning of debris flows has been completed on two other sites.

“When we open, obviously like the other highways that have been affected, business will not be business as usual on Coquihalla,” Fleming said. “There will be two segments, each 20 to 30 kilometers long where the highway will have to have reduced speeds and only one lane in each direction will be possible.”

No traffic – let alone passenger traffic – will be reestablished on Coquihalla in time for the holiday season. Restrictions on non-essential travel are in place along Highways 3 and 99 and heavy damage will prevent the reopening of Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon.

Fleming says the province will not make a decision on passenger traffic until it sees how commercial traffic is able to pass through the repaired Coquihalla.

“It will depend on what kind of pinch points on a partially restored Coquihalla – what kind of queue there might be and what kind of traffic volume it can handle. Decisions will flow from the data based on what repairs we are able to make that could restore access, ”he said.

“If there is something lucky about the damage in Coquihalla, it is that the areas which experienced the most difficult winter conditions were not as impacted and we will have the same road standard as before the storms. . This includes Showshed Hill and through the summit of Coquihalla and Larson Hill and the segment from Larson Hill to Merritt. “

Fleming noted that his ministry did not yet have an estimate of the cost of repairs to the Coquihalla.

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