British Columbia News
Reminder: Four-hour Coquihalla closure for avalanche control
Wednesday, January 8, 2020 9:10 AM
Drivers are reminded that a section of the Coquihalla between Hope and Merritt will be closed today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to allow for proactive avalanche control.
Due to heavy snowfall over the last several weeks, avalanche control via helicopter will be completed from 11 kilometres south of the Great Bear Snowshed to nine kilometres north of the Coquihalla summit. This operation, which is subject to acceptable flying conditions, will remove any 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 alter travel plans as necessary. For the most up-to-date highway travel information, check @DriveBC on Twitter or visit: DriveBC.ca
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.