Four-hour avalanche control closure planned for Coquihalla Highway | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Four-hour avalanche control closure planned for Coquihalla Highway

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January 07, 2020 - 1:00 PM

Drivers planning to take the Coquihalla Highway tomorrow should know there will be a four-hour closure between Hope and Merritt in the middle of the day.

A media release issued by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says the closure will take place to allow for avalanche control from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow, Jan. 8.

The heavy snowfall in the last several weeks prompted an avalanche control via helicopter 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 Ministry says.

The highway will be closed southbound in Merritt and northbound at Hope. At noon, the highway will be closed at northbound at Portia and southbound at Zopkios.

The highway is expected to reopen at 3 p.m. tomorrow but that could change depending on the weather.

Drivers should change their travel plans and check DriveBC social media platforms and the DriveBC website for the most up to date highway travel information.

The Ministry also says people can expect highway closures during avalanche season. The Ministry’s avalanche program manages more than 60 avalanche areas that include almost 1,400 individual avalanche paths around the province.

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