Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon opened to all vehicle traffic at noon on Jan. 24, marking another milestone in British Columbia’s recovery from November’s flooding.
A major route connecting the Lower Mainland to B.C.’s Interior and North has been restored, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said in a press release. Repairs to the highway were completed, despite record snowfalls, avalanche risks and cold temperatures over the past few weeks.
“We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of the crews and staff who have put in long hours to make the repairs necessary to reopen Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon,” said Rob Fleming, minister of transportation and infrastructure. “The construction and engineering accomplishments to get people and goods moving again after the highway sustained such heavy damage are nothing short of remarkable.”
Depending on the destination, drivers travelling Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon should plan for delays of up to two hours or more. This is due to ongoing repairs, an at-grade train crossing and sections of single-lane alternating traffic, which includes a temporary single-lane bridge at Jackass Mountain and Nicomen River crossing.
The single-lane temporary bridge installed at Jackass Mountain is approximately 80 metres (260 feet) long and is in an area where a large section of two-lane road was destroyed. Because this bridge is in a known avalanche zone, drivers will have a pilot-car service for approximately four kilometres to guide them through this section.
For truckers travelling on this route, the highway will be open to legal width and weight loading. However, loads will be limited to 25 meters in length until the rehabilitation of the highway bridge at Nicomen River is complete. The avalanche risk in the Fraser Canyon is also high this year. Drivers can expect closures on short notice for avalanche control and cleanup. People are asked to plan accordingly, with warm clothes, food and water, and a full tank of gas.