In today’s update about the flood-impacted highway corridors, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says its focus remains on reopening vital trade corridors from the Lower Mainland to the Interior and North.
Rob Fleming, minister of transportation, explains that BC’s southern highways were impacted at over 200 sites due to either mudslides or flooding.
As work continues to reopen Highway 1, the top priority is to ensure that the supply chain can move with limited disruptions.
“Whether that be milk trucks, fuel trucks or food deliveries, these essential goods are struggling to get through some of the congestion we’re seeing in the Lower Mainland,” explains Rob Fleming, minister of transportation.
As a result, effective today (Nov. 23) at 8 pm, Highway 7 will see restricted accessibility from Murray Street in Mission to Highway 1 in Hope to give priority to supply chain deliveries.
There is no estimated time of reopening for the remaining portions of Highway 1 that have been flooded and it depends largely on the upcoming weather events.
Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a rainfall warning for parts of the Fraser Valley, Whistler, Sunshine Coast and Metro Vancouver.
More rain and difficult weather patterns are expected in the next nine to 10 days.
Heavy rain expected Weds to Friday for SW BC, including Fraser Valley, #Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound & #MetroVan— Prepared BC (@PreparedBC) November 23, 2021
Be prepared for potential flooding/landslides.
🌧️ Weather: https://t.co/XR2CI3sZDs#BCStorm #BCFlood pic.twitter.com/89hBe5FHOz
There was a brief closure along Highway 3 on Monday, the only route for commercial vehicles out of the Fraser Valley, so crews could assess an area that was heavily damaged and to ensure motorist safety.
Highway 8 is closed around 20 kilometres from Merritt through to Spences Bridge due to significant damage at 18 different sites with four bridges gone or damaged.
A more in-depth update on Highway 5 is anticipated in the coming days.
Minister Fleming finished by stressing the importance of motorists taking extra care to drive along these highways that have reopened.
“Last night, unfortunately, we had brief closures on both highways 7 and 99 entirely due to preventative accidents,” he explains.
“This is a reminder to everyone: our crews have made remarkable progress to get highways open to restricted travel but we’ve all seen the images on the media, conditions are not normal and these are still active construction sites.”