After four weeks of essential vehicle travel only, the Coquihalla Highway will reopen to all vehicles Wednesday.
The province announced the reopening of the highway to all traffic between Hope and Merritt Tuesday, the first day since Nov. 14. They say the more convenient route of travel still has temporary fixes in place while the Ministry of Transportation plans permanent repairs.
They say the travel time between Hope and Merritt will take an extra 45 minutes because of the fixes, and the electric vehicle charging station at Britton Creek is still out of order. EV drivers will need to recharge in Hope or Merritt.
Increased traffic enforcement will also be there to keep drivers following laws and weather conditions, the province added.
The reopening of the highway is a “significant milestone in the province’s recovery from the devastating storms,” according to the announcement.
Highway 99’s vehicle weight limits will also be removed on Jan. 19, but officials are cautioning drivers of large commercial vehicles to avoid the route. They say drivers need to be experienced and the area has a higher avalanche risk.
The province encourages drivers to check DriveBC.ca before travelling.
Highway 1 up the Fraser Canyon is partially open from Kanaka Bar south of Lytton to Spences Bridge. The province says drivers can expect delays and the highway is closed between Kanaka Bar and Hope.
Heavy snowfall and avalanche risks have delayed progress on the highway and lengthy delays should be expected when the highway does reopen, according to the provincial government.