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State of emergency extended as B.C. continues to grapple with storm-damaged highways

The state of emergency will remain in place until Jan. 18
Ministry of Transportation staff survey the damage at the last remaining northbound strand of Bottletop Bridge. (Cole Schisler/Black Press)

The state of emergency related to B.C.’s damaged highways has been extended until Jan. 18.

The extension comes as many highways in B.C. remain damaged by flooding and mudslides from an atmospheric river event on Nov. 14. Another atmospheric river is set to hit B.C. Tuesday (Jan. 11) and last until Thursday, bringing risk of further flooding along with it.

Orders restricting travel on Highway 5 and Highway 99 will remain in place.

This means that Highway 5, the Coquihalla between Hope and Merritt, is only open to commercial vehicles with a minimum licensed gross vehicle weight of 11,794 kilograms and inter-city buses. Highway 99 from the junction with Lillooet River Road to the BC Hydro Seton Lake campsite access in Lillooet is open to all traffic, but vehicles weighing more than 14,500 kilograms are not permitted.

READ MORE: Crews working around the clock to repair storm-ravaged Coquihalla

READ MORE: B.C. braces for heavy rain, potential floods as latest atmospheric river arrives

Repair work continues on many B.C. highways damaged by severe weather. Motorists are reminded to drive cautiously on highway routes to ensure the safety of road crews.

“Work has progressed well while the affected areas have experienced adverse winter conditions,” said Rob Fleming, minister of transportation and infrastructure. “While this work continues, the restriction on these highways will have to remain in place for a short while longer to ensure road conditions are safe for those driving and working on them.”

All drivers should check DriveBC regularly for real-time road conditions, weather warnings and road closure information.


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