British Columbia reopens key sections of the Fraser Valley flood-damaged Trans Canada Highway


Victoria — The main section of British Columbia’s Trans-Canada Highway, which had been flooded since last week, reopened on Thursday, relieving traffic congestion and facilitating the connection between Lower Mainland and the interior of the state.

Transport Minister Rob Fleming said the section of Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack was allowed to resume.

Public security minister Mike Fernworth said authorities are closely monitoring the weather as a series of storms are expected to hit the state and the worst rainfall is expected to arrive on Tuesday.

Agriculture Minister Lana Pofam spoke with farmers of berries and produce that lost their crops in the floods, but said some dairy and pig producers sometimes helped deliver food by helicopter. ..

Fleming said that the reopened section of the highway is not subject to mandatory travel orders, but people are required to use it only when necessary, slowing down the speed limit becomes effective, and slowly. He added that it is expected to proceed.

At a press conference, he said, “Ground engineering has confirmed that roads can be moved safely.” “This will bring a lot of congestion relief and agility to the area.”

Fleming said reopening the main traffic route through Fraser Valley is welcome news, but drivers are encouraged to exercise patience and further closures will occur if the floods return. there is a possibility.

Work is underway to reopen the Kokihara Highway between Hope and Merritt to commercial traffic by late January, and Highway 7 between Hope and Agashiz remains open but under a travel ban.

Most of the Trans-Canada Highway through the Fraser Canyon area remains closed due to landslides, and Highway 8 between Spences Bridge and Merritt has been severely damaged and closed by floods.

According to Fleming, the Kokihara Highway continues to work 24 hours a day, with five bridges collapsed, severely damaged, and some of the major four-lane routes washed away.

“Overall, about 20 sites were badly damaged or washed away,” he said. “This is about 130 kilometers of the affected corridor. This will be a daunting task to get the highway back to full function.”

The ministry is confident that Kokihara will be able to complete sufficient temporary repairs to enable commercial traffic by late January, depending on the severity of the upcoming winter storm, but some Section said that the speed limit will decrease in one lane in each direction.

Meanwhile, the federal government and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority have announced that they are working together to address supply chain disruptions. According to statements from the Federal Transport Minister and the Emergency Response Minister, the government has donated up to $ 4.1 million to alleviate bottlenecks at Vancouver’s ports.

The congestion was caused by the aftermath of a flood that cut off all rail and road movement between Metro Vancouver and the endorheic of British Columbia.

According to the statement, a plan led by port authorities will increase container storage capacity by opening up 16 hectares of undeveloped industrial land in Richmond to store empty containers.

Wind and rainfall warnings cover much of British Columbia as the state continues to rebuild from flood damage and prepare for more rainfall. According to Fernworth, British Columbia is expected to experience a heavy storm on Tuesday and three rainfalls over the next few days.

“If you are in a flood-prone area, be prepared to evacuate when asked,” he said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in British Columbia on Friday to visit the flood-affected areas and meet with state, civilian, and indigenous leaders.

According to Trudeau’s schedule, he will be in the Abbotsford area and will meet with military members, first responders and volunteers.

He will be in Victoria later that day to meet with Prime Minister John Horgan.

British Columbia is making progress towards recovery, with supply chains stabilizing, gas shortages beginning to ease, and some evacuees being allowed to return home. The Canadian Pacific Railway has announced that the first train from Kamloops, which carries grain and fuel, has arrived in Vancouver.

According to the Canadian Ministry of the Environment, Howe Sound, and the northern part of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, were expected to rain up to 80 millimeters by Friday morning. The southern part of Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley were expected to receive up to 50 millimeters.

NS Dark Meissner

Canadian press