Highway 99 opens to essential traffic

November 20, 2021 at 1:40 pm  BC, News, Politics

Highway 99 is now open for people travelling for essential purposes only, connecting the Lower Mainland to Pemberton, Lillooet and the Interior.

Essential purposes for travel are defined in the Travel Restrictions Order through the Emergency Program Act. Checkpoints will be in place and travel restrictions will be enforced.

Weight restrictions are in place on this route from just north of Pemberton through to the community of Lillooet. This route is a steep mountainous road with narrow sections and sharp curves. High volumes of commercial vehicles cannot be safely accommodated. 

Regular passenger vehicles such as cars, SUVs, vans and trucks under gross vehicle weight of 14,500 kilograms are able to travel on this corridor. Vehicles over the weight restriction are directed to use Highway 3, which opened to essential travel on Friday, Nov. 19.   

Since the highway closure on Nov. 15, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure staff and highway maintenance contractors have worked tirelessly to remove debris, repair road surfaces and reopen this route.

Delays can be expected and some sections of open roads may be single-lane alternating. For the most current road conditions, please check DriveBC.ca

It is strongly encouraged to wait an extra day or two to travel if possible. For drivers who must travel for essential purposes, the ministry urges preparation and patience. Highway corridors between the Lower Mainland and the rest of the province are anticipated to be extremely busy, and at this time of year, conditions can change quickly. 

Drivers may be taking an unfamiliar route to their destination and are reminded to use caution, obey construction zone speed limits, and respect the direction of traffic control personnel. 

Drivers are reminded that B.C.’s winter tire regulations are in effect. The Province’s maintenance contractors will be out in full force on these key goods routes, but it’s important that drivers do their part and drive as conditions warrant.

Other safety tips for winter driving apply, including travelling with a full tank of gas, food, water and warm clothes.

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