Drivers are advised that a section of the Coquihalla between Hope and Merritt will be closed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8, to allow for proactive avalanche control.
Due to heavy snowfall over the last several weeks, avalanche control via helicopter is required from 11 kilometres south of the Great Bear Snowshed to nine kilometres north of the Coquihalla summit. This will remove weak layers of snow and ice, and reduce the overall depth of the snowpack, providing continued safe travel for people using the Coquihalla.
The highway will be closed southbound in Merritt and northbound at Hope beginning at 11 a.m., and closed northbound at Portia and southbound at Zopkios beginning at noon. The Coquihalla is expected to reopen by 3 p.m., but changes to the timeline may occur, depending on weather.
Drivers should change their travel plans as necessary and check DriveBC.ca and @DriveBC on Twitter for the most up-to-date highway travel information.
During avalanche season, people can expect some highway closures, either due to high avalanche hazard conditions or to allow for avalanche control.
The ministry’s avalanche program is run by highly trained avalanche professionals who monitor weather and snowpack conditions continuously during the avalanche season. The program manages more than 60 avalanche areas that include almost 1,400 individual avalanche paths around the province.