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Highway route to southern Interior open

Highway 5 – Coquihalla -Sowaqua Bridge. Ministry of Transportation and Highways photo

VICTORA – A route to the southern interior of British Columbia is open for goods movement and people travelling for essential purposes only, using Highway 7 and Highway 3.

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.

This progress will enable the movement of goods and supplies from the Lower Mainland to get to the rest of B.C. and other provinces.

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure staff and highway maintenance contractors have worked around the clock since Sunday to remove debris, repair road surfaces and reopen both highways.

Drivers should expect sections of single-lane alternating traffic on Highway 7 and three sections of single-lane alternating traffic on Highway 3 east of Hope. Delays will be significant, given the amount of essential goods to be delivered and the many people eager to complete their trips home.

It is strongly encouraged to wait an extra day or two to travel if possible. This will help the movement of essential goods on Highway 3.

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 with commercial traffic, and at this time of year, conditions can change quickly.

Drivers may be taking an unfamiliar route to their destination. Use extreme caution, obey signs, speed limits and the direction of any 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 is important that drivers do their part and drive to conditions.

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

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