Sunday before full opening

UPDATE: 3:25 p.m.

Traffic is again moving between Hope and Chilliwack following mudslides that cut off travel on Thursday.

The Transportation Ministry says westbound lanes of Highway 1 have been cleared of debris, and single-lane traffic is getting by in either direction in the two westbound lanes.

The ministry says crews are now working to clear the eastbound lanes, but a significant amount of mud and debris and challenging weather conditions have slowed the process.

The road is now expected fully reopen sometime on Sunday, a day later than originally estimated.

Debris was five metres deep in some areas and heavy equipment such as excavators, dump trucks, front-end loaders and a bulldozer are being used to clear away the mess.

– The Canadian Press

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.

A single lane of westbound traffic has reopened on Highway 1, but DriveBC warns drivers to expect major volume delays.

The Ministry of Transportation says 17,000 cubic metres of material covered the highway Thursday, up to five metres deep in some areas. 

The eastbound lanes, which have "considerably more debris," are expected to be opened Sunday, a day later than originally forecasted.

"Crews are dealing with a significant amount of debris, and ongoing weather conditions are slowing progress," the Ministry said Friday. 

There are currently six excavators, eight dump trucks, three large rock trucks, one bulldozer, three front-end loaders, one hydrovac and one sweeper working to clear the rest of the highway. 

ORIGINAL: 10:30 a.m.

Crews continue to work at the scene of mudslides that closed the Trans-Canada Highway west of Hope, Thursday.

Westbound lanes are expected to reopen this afternoon, but eastbound lanes will take until at least Saturday to clear, the Ministry of Transportation says.

The three slides shut down a 1.5-kilometre stretch between Hope and Chilliwack.

"The highway was shut down to ensure the safety of the site and that no one was travelling through there when it was unstable," ministry spokesperson Maziar Kazemi told CTV.

Two semis and another vehicle were caught in the mud, but no one was seriously hurt.

Heavy equipment began cleaning up the muck Thursday afternoon.

Travellers are advised to detour via Highway 7 and Highway 11.

– with files from CTV Vancouver

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