British Columbia’s Coquihalla Highway could be open to commercial traffic by January 2022: Minister
The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation said Thursday it was cautiously optimistic that commercial traffic could move on the Coquihalla Highway in about two months, by the end of January.
However, Rob Fleming said it is a tough and arduous task that will depend on the weather and future storms.
About 20 sites along Route 5, which is the main route connecting the Lower Mainland and the interior, were damaged or washed away in the November 13-15 storm.
About 130 kilometers were affected, Fleming added.
Five bridges collapsed or severely damaged.
British Columbia’s Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack is scheduled to reopen at 2 p.m. Thursday
The Coquihalla Highway in British Columbia from the sky shows the extent of the damage
Fleming said the good news is that work has started to restore the temporary fixes.
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There are currently three sites along the highway where crews are blowing rocks and the government is mobilizing equipment at two other sites.
At the Jessica Bridge, they are installing a temporary bridge.
Crews construct a construction access across the bridge near the Carolin mine road.
In the Bottle Top area, the teams are installing a temporary bridge.
At Brodie Siding Road, crews are protecting abutments in the area, Fleming added.
Work is also underway in the rivers to prevent erosion and divert certain waterways.
Current condition of major highways and roads in British Columbia with roads remaining closed
Fleming said that when the Coquihalla Expressway can be opened to commercial traffic, there will be two segments, about 20 to 30 kilometers long, where the speed will be reduced and it will be one lane in each direction.
It is too early to say when other passenger services would be permitted to operate on the highway.
Work continues on many roads and sites across British Columbia, which Fleming says easily adds up to more than 200 in total.
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