Working on opening the Coquihalla

Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone today issued the following statement on extreme conditions on the Coquihalla Highway: "Today, the Coquihalla Highway remains closed between Hope and Merritt because of a high avalanche hazard.

The highway will remain closed until avalanche control activities can be completed to ensure the safety of the travelling public. "Over the last 10 days, there have been almost three metres of snow along the Coquihalla Highway corridor. This huge volume of snow is sitting on a weak layer, making it very unstable.

The result has been slides on paths that have never before reached the highway in the 27 years that the Coquihalla Highway has been open. "Our ministry's avalanche technicians have been conducting avalanche control activities the last two weeks to reduce the risk.

The control mission we are hoping to undertake today is one of the largest avalanche control missions in the history of the Coquihalla Highway and will involve up to three helicopters.

"I would like to acknowledge the hard work of our ministry avalanche technicians, highways staff and our highway maintenance contractors and their employees during this extraordinary period. They have been going all out to reopen this important highway as quickly as possible."



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