Pee stop flushed away

You may want to cut back on the coffee if you're planning to travel the Coquihalla Highway between the Okanagan and Lower Mainland.

The tourist information centre outside Merritt, where the Coquihalla and Okanagan Connector converge, has closed.

Destination BC, which operated the site, says people used the area mainly as a bathroom stop or a place to buy snacks and top up their coffee.

Officials said late last year in announcing the pending closure that significant changes in consumer trip planning behaviour have occurred over the last decade. As such, there has been a corresponding drop in visitor centre stops. Fewer people were using the centre for travel, or trip information.

Destination BC says a visitor information centre at the Baillie Hotel in downtown Merritt remains open. The centre has actually been open at that location for several years.

As for alternative places to seek relief on the trip, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is constructing a new $7-million washroom facility at the Loon Lake interchange.

The ministry describes the project as a Class A facility with running water and flush toilets. It will include picnic tables and provisions for future commercial development.

The rest area is expected to open sometime this winter.

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