Highway 97 to reopen west of Chetwynd, B.C., following severe floods

By The Canadian Press
June 23, 2016 - 10:38am

VICTORIA — A major stretch of highway in northeastern B.C. from Mackenzie Junction to Chetwynd is set to reopen, one week after it was closed by severe flooding.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone advises drivers to expect single lane alternating traffic along the nearly 150-kilometre stretch of Highway 97.

He says pilot cars may be needed to lead convoys through some sections of the corridor and motorists should expect the trip to take longer than the usual 90 minutes.

Crews have been working on the route and others in the Peace region since last week when at least 100 millimetres of rain tore up roads, washed out bridges and train tracks, and damaged buildings around Chetwynd and Dawson Creek.

Stone says nearly 200 pieces of equipment have been assigned to restore the flooded routes. 

Traffic is moving on Highway 2 south of Dawson Creek and Highway 29 north of Chetwynd, while single-lane travel is also possible on 21 of 40 washed out side roads.

Highway 97 was scheduled to reopen early Thursday afternoon.

“This is important for the local residents who’ve been cut off from their communities for several days after the unprecedented rainstorm that severely damaged whole sections of the highway and washed away a number of side roads,” Stone says in a news release.

Supplies have been flown in to about 60 families living west of Chetwynd since last week’s flooding cut access to their properties.

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