- On Saturday, the B.C. government announced that portions of Highway 1, Highway 3, and Highway 99 will be “proactively blocked.”
- Multiple crashes on Friday forced the closure of portions of Highway 3, the Crowsnest Highway, in both directions.
As the province prepares for the next atmospheric river, the B.C. government has declared that segments of Highway 1, Highway 3, and Highway 99 would be “proactively closed” on Saturday.
According to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the closures will affect Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton, Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet, and Highway 1 in the Fraser Canyon.
“The exact time and duration of the closures will be determined by weather,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Following recent storms, the roadway infrastructure in these areas is particularly susceptible, and more heavy rain in the forecast creates an additional concern.”
The closures will be re-evaluated Sunday morning, officials added, and roads will be re-opened when they are considered safe.
Highway 1 between Popkum and Hope will be closed Saturday afternoon for scheduled reservoir releases, which will send water rushing toward areas of the highway that were hit during last week’s storm.
Further damage to the highway is likely, but the releases are “critical to preserve the Jones Lake Reservoir, which is also being harmed by the severe rains,” according to the Ministry of Transportation.
“When it is reliable to do so, crews will conduct assessments, and equipment will be on standby for repairs,” the ministry stated.
Multiple crashes on Friday forced the closure of portions of Highway 3, the Crowsnest Highway, in both directions. Only needed travel, such as business trucks transporting critical items and previously stranded travelers attempting to return home, was permitted on the stretch.
The accidents said to Transportation Minister Rob Fleming, are an excellent reminder to all drivers to “please slow down, be aware, be patient.”
“Crews are still repairing and upgrading corridors, and the situation is far from normal,” Fleming said Friday morning.
Highways 8 and Coquihalla are closed as well.
RECOVERY OF THE ROAD
Fleming said there’s “no doubt” important roadways damaged during last week’s hurricane will be rebuilt better than before.
“Our infrastructure will be upgraded to withstand the new climate conditions we are confronted with,” he stated.
Seven distinct places along Highway 1 in the Fraser Canyon were hit, four suffered serious damage.
Temporary repairs are supposed to be completed by mid-January, according to the province.
“Traffic movement will be severely constrained, with some single-lane parts and an at-grade rail crossing that will be temporary yet allow for safe vehicle passage,” Fleming added.
According to the ministry, the minister also provided an update on Highway 8, which was “completely devastated” in last week’s storm. There was considerable damage in twenty different sites, including four bridges.
“The Nicola River has dug a new channel,” he continued, “washing away vast sections of the highway in the process.”
“About five or six kilometers of roads have entirely disappeared, with another 20 kilometers severely damaged.”
According to Fleming, the province works with local Indigenous elders to restore temporary access as quickly as possible.
Source: CTV News
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