B.C.’s Highway 1 is open as far as Hope and work continues to reopen the heavily damaged Fraser Canyon portion to the north, Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said Friday.
CP Rail reopened its line through the canyon on Tuesday and a temporary structure is being put in place at Tank Hill where a detour has been put in place. He said the CN line through the canyon is also expected to be back in service soon.
“Temporary repairs are underway at Jackass Mountain,” Fleming said at a briefing Nov. 26. “Work is underway where a large section of two-lane road was completely wiped out in a landslide. At Tank Hill we’re working collaboratively with CP Rail to build a temporary detour where a landslide sheared off about 70 metres of two-lane road and damaged the railway.”
Highway 7 has been reopened to commercial trucks and residents only, and along with Highway 1 access to Hope has provided essential supply lines in the wake of the flooding. Highway 1 is not subject to a travel order but is single-lane only at Bridal Falls, and Fleming said only essential travel should be attempted.
Highway 1 and Highway 7 converge at Hope, where travel to the B.C. Interior has been moving along Highway 3 through Princeton, subject to an essential travel order for trucks and people going to their primary residences. That route had a major accident west of Princeton Friday morning, and was temporarily closed after about 4,000 trucks got through.
Highway 99 south of Lillooet opened last Sunday for passenger vehicles no larger than a cube van, and continues to provide limited service. Drivers on all open routes are urged to go slowly, watch for construction and damage, and have food, water, warm clothes, and other emergency supplies.
That warning goes for all highway travel in the southern B.C., as a series of storms is expected through the region, with the heaviest rain expected next Tuesday and Wednesday. Environment Canada is warning of extreme rainfall that could cause more flooding or landslides and power outages due to high winds.
Fleming said B.C. transportation crews are on stand-by for this weekend and next week, and highways may have to be pre-emptively closed as weather conditions indicate. Drivers are asked to check DriveBC for the latest conditions.