B.C. highways: 2 routes reopen for essential travel after weekend closures
Two highway routes that were pre-emptively closed over the weekend have reopened, B.C.'s transportation ministry announced Monday.
More atmospheric rivers in the southern part of the province led the transportation ministry to close Highways 1, 3 and 99 over the weekend as a precaution. But on Monday, Highway 3 and 99 were reopened to essential travel.
"Due to ongoing cleanup and repairs, drivers can expect delays on this section of Highway 3," the transportation ministry said in a statement.
Initial closures came following an intense storm two weeks ago that sent mud, rocks and trees into roadways. Those slides killed at least four people near Lillooet, with one person still missing and presumed dead. Hundreds more were stranded in their vehicles in various locations.
While some highways eventually reopened, those three were closed again on Saturday.
"We are constantly assessing the status of closed highways," Minister of Transportation Rob Fleming said Monday. When we get engineers in there to make a safety determination when it is safe to travel again, we will reopen those highways."
Even with Highways 3 and 99 open again, drivers could face fines if they aren't travelling for an essential reason. Last Tuesday, BC Highway Patrol said in a statement that checkpoints would be in place on Highway 99, Highway 3, Highway 1 and Highway 7.
Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth confirmed Monday those travel orders are still in place indefinitely.
Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack remains closed, as does the highway through the Bridal Falls area.
"With more heavy rains forecast we will continue to monitor all of our highways in the region," Fleming said. "Unless it is absolutely necessary, I would encourage you to stay off the roads through this next storm event."
As of Monday morning, these were the highway conditions in southern B.C., specifically related to recent floods and landslides. Not all road closures are reflected in this list and DriveBC's traffic page may have the most up-to-date information.
- Closed between Exit 90 and Exit 109 (Abbotsford to Chilliwack) due to flooding.
- Closed between Exit 138 and Exit 165 (Hope to east of Chilliwack) due to heavy rainfall and risk of debris flow.
- Open with travel advisory between Exit 170 and Kahmoose Road (south of Jackass Mountain Summit to Hope).
- Closed between Junction Highway 12 and Junction Highway 8 (Lytton to Spences Bridge) due to rock slide.
- Closed between Kahmoose Road and Main Street (Lytton to south of Jackass Mountain Summit) due to flooding and mudslide.
- Open with single-lane alternating traffic between Little River Road and Lindburg Road (east of Chase) due to rock slide.
- Closed between Hazelwood Avenue and Townshipline Road (Abbotsford) due to flooding.
- Open for essential travel only between Hope and Princeton. Checkpoint in place.
- Closed between Hope and Merritt due to washouts.
- Open for essential travel only between Glasgow Avenue and Ross Road (Mission to Hope). Checkpoint in place.
- Closed between Highway 8 and Petit Creek Road (west of Merritt to Spences Bridge) due to washout.
- Open between Lil'wat Place and Seton Lake Road (north of Pemberton to Lillooet) for essential travel only. Checkpoint in place.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Ian Holliday
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