Coquihalla now open following 20 hour closure

By Chad Klassen
February 10, 2017 - 9:00am Updated: February 10, 2017 - 4:54pm

KAMLOOPS —The Coquihalla Highway is back open this afternoon, though drivers are being asked to keep speeds below 80 kilometers per hour.

"We certainly regret having to put this many people through what had to have been an ordeal," said Transportation Minister Todd Stone. "Waiting and wondering what was happening and when was the road going to open."

WATCH: Full report by Chad Klassen

On Thursday, freezing rain caused extremely dangerous driving conditions and forced the Transportation Ministry to close down the highway for safety reasons. Stone noted that two inches of ice accumulated on a VSA Maintenance vehicle in the span of 20 minutes. 

Some questioning why the Ministry re-opened the Coquihalla in the first place. 

"Those decisions are made within the Ministry, and I'm not going to second-guess the professionals who work hard to keep our highways open and to keep our highways safe," said Stone. "This is a situation not common. We don't have closures on the Coquihalla, let alone most other highways, in the province that lasts more than a half a day. This was an extraordinary situation."

LISTEN: Update from VSA Highway maintenance as of 10am, Friday February 10

The Trans Canada Highway remains closed through the Fraser Canyon due to a high risk of avalanches.

Elsewhere, road conditions appear to be slowly clearing up.

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