The Coquihalla (Highway 5) has reopened to four lanes following completion of temporary repairs at three bridge sites, a major milestone.
“This is another momentous achievement as we rebuild our highways following last year’s storms,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “By reopening the Coquihalla to four lanes, we’re increasing safety and reducing congestion. This is great news for people, industry and the provincial economy as we head into another busy travel season.”
The completed work includes new temporary bridges for southbound traffic at the Bottletop and Jessica bridge sites, and a bridge for northbound traffic at the Juliet bridge site that will serve as the permanent southbound crossing. This work was completed by KEA5, a joint venture between Peter Kiewit & Sons and Emil Anderson Construction.
Work will continue this coming winter and into late 2023 to complete the permanent repairs. The area remains a construction zone and drivers can expect to see ongoing speed and traffic-pattern changes.
Permanent repairs to the Othello section of the Coquihalla are done. Emil Anderson and the Chawathil First Nation combined to repair 460 metres of the southbound lanes that were washed out, as well as:
- replacing and enlarging culverts to accommodate future extreme weather events related to climate change;
- widening shoulders and replacing barriers; and
- reinstating the roadside barrier and spillways.
B.C.’s winter-tire and chain-up regulations are in effect on the Coquihalla until April 30, 2023.
Other safety tips for winter driving include travelling with a full tank of fuel, food and water, and warm clothes.
- The Coquihalla was closed to regular vehicle traffic on Nov. 14, 2021, due to damage caused by heavy rain and flooding.
- Flooding and washouts associated with the November 2021 rains damaged more than 20 sites along 130 kilometres of the Coquihalla between Hope and Merritt.
- This included seven bridges where spans collapsed or were otherwise heavily damaged.
- More than 300 workers using 200 pieces of equipment moved more than 400,000 cubic metres of gravel, rock and other material to repair and reopen the Coquihalla to commercial vehicle traffic in 35 days, on Dec. 20, 2021, and to all traffic on Jan. 19, 2022.
For updated highway information, visit: https://www.drivebc.ca/
For more information about the highway flood recovery projects: