Avalanche risk prompts B.C. highway closures, traffic delays

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Closed since Thursday because of avalanche risk, the only route from B.C.’s Interior to the Lower Mainland for passenger traffic was reopened on Saturday afternoon.

According to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, parts of the Trans Canada / Highway 1 and Highway 3 were closed due to avalanche risk and large avalanche deposits on the road.

On Saturday at noon, the ministry sent out a press release, expecting that the closed portions of the highways would reopen sometime Saturday evening.

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However, DriveBC reported just after 1 p.m., that Highway 3 had been reopened to traffic.

“Highway 1 and Highway 3 have been closed since Thursday due to avalanche risk and large avalanche deposits on the highway,” the ministry said at noon.

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“Crews are working to clear the deposits after receiving clearance from the avalanche team. It is expected that Highways 3 and 1 will open this evening.”

There are three main routes from B.C.’s Interior to the Lower Mainland, but only two are open to passenger vehicles: Highways 1 and 3.

The Coquihalla Highway, which sustained severe flooding damage in November, has been reopened to traffic, but only to commercial vehicles.


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Coquihalla Highway reopens to essential traffic, weeks ahead of schedule


Coquihalla Highway reopens to essential traffic, weeks ahead of schedule – Dec 20, 2021

Further, the Coquihalla was also closed on Thursday due to unsafe winter weather, though it was reopened Friday around 5 p.m.

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“As a result of the closures,” said the ministry, “Highway 1 between Popkum and the Highway 3/5 split was heavily congested.”

The ministry said it is working with the highway contractor to support any drivers that may be on the highway.


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As of Saturday afternoon, DriveBC is reporting several travel advisories along the Trans-Canada, such as a washout between Lytton and Spences Bridge that won’t be reopened until mid-January.

Also along Highway 1:

  • Travel advisory between Langley and Hope due to winter conditions
  • Travel advisory between Yale and 27 km south of Jackass Mountain Summit due to winter conditions
  • Road closure, avalanche deposit removal between Yale to 26 km south of Jackass Mountain Summit)
  • Road closure, washout near Jackass Mountain Summit. Mid-January estimated reopening
  • Road closure, high avalanche hazard, Lytton to 1 km south of Jackass Mountain Summit
  • Travel advisory between Sicamous to Field; heavy snowfall
  • Planned road closure, avalanche control work, Golden to the west boundary of Yoho National Park. Work to begin Saturday at 2:30 p.m. P.T.

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Highway 3

  • Road closure, avalanche deposit removal, 37 km east of Hope
  • Planned road closure, avalanche deposit removal, Kootenay Pass. Work to begin Sundy at 11 a.m. P.T.

For the latest highway conditions throughout the province, visit DriveBC.


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Stoplights being installed along Highway 5A in Princeton to help ease traffic concerns – Dec 22, 2021




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