When vital highway corridors, rail service could be restored in BC

Nov 22 2021, 8:16 pm

Many BC highways were damaged by last week’s storm, and the province has shared that they’re making progress on reopening major routes.

When will BC rail service be up?

According to a provincial update on Monday, CP and CN rail are both cautiously optimistic about restarting operations starting Tuesday, November 23.

CP rail announced that it will reopen the railway between Kamloops and Vancouver by mid-day Tuesday, November 23. C

“Crews have worked around the clock after the November 14 atmospheric river rain storm in BC, where nearly 200 millimetres of rain fell over two days in some locations,” said CP in an update.

“Thirty locations across CP’s Thompson and Cascade subdivisions were damaged with 20 resulting in significant loss of infrastructure.”

To repair the damage, CP says they mobilized hundreds of CP employees and contractors to move 30,000 dump truckspworth of material to rebuild damaged areas and used more than 80 pieces of heavy work equipment.

 

When will BC highways reopen?

Highway travel appears to be on its way to returning to normal, although some routes like the Coquihalla are likely to be out of commission for months.

“Getting corridors open from the Lower Mainland has been and continues to be our highest priority to make sure that supply chains can be maintained,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming.

“We now have two routes connecting the Lower Mainland with the Interior and the North open for essential travel,” he said.

Highway 7 connecting with Highway 3 opened Friday afternoon. It’s a designated route for heavy commercial vehicles.

Highway 99 connecting with highway 97 opened Saturday afternoon.

“Both routes are operating well given that the context is far from travel as usual,” said Fleming.

In the Fraser Valley, parts of Highway 1 are still not completely open.

“We are seeing some progress on the section of Highway 1 in the Sumas Prairie area near Abbotsford,” said Minister Fleming.

He said that water has receded enough to allow eastbound lanes on Highway 1 between Highway 11 east to Cole Road to be reopened for emergency access and agricultural operations.

The main TransCanada route on Highway 1 still has extensive flooding. The stretch of highway between Cole Road and Yale Road remains flooded with no estimated time of reopening.

Shortly after the update ended, part of Highway 3 got washed out again, closing the route from Hope to Princeton.

As highways begin to reopen, some roads have travel restrictions in place. However, even where there is no order, the province is urging people to travel only if it’s essential and reminding drivers to expect delays.

Drivers can check in with Drive BC for the latest updates on road closures, hazards, and alternate routes.

Sarah AndersonSarah Anderson

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