Crews clear rockslide from Coquihalla Highway

By Greg Fry
January 22, 2018 - 10:58am

KAMLOOPS — Good news for motorists as the rockslide that had blocked the northbound lane of the Coquihalla Highway about three kilometres south of Merritt has been cleared.

District Operations Manager for the Thompson-Nicola District Trent Folk says they closed the northbound lane late last night after approximately 50 cubic metres of rock fell off an adjacent rock slope.

"It filled the ditch and some rock spilled out onto the highway. So, with safety being our number one priority and making sure the travelling public is safe, through consultation with our geotechnical engineers, we kept the highway closed through the night."

But following work by excavation crews this morning, he says the northbound lane reopened shortly after 10:00 this morning.

Environment Canada meteorologist Lisa West notes the Coquihalla Highway, which is under an snowfall warning, got around 20 centimetres of snow overnight and is still expecting another 5 to 10 centimetres today. 

She expects the snow to taper off later this afternoon but is forecasting plenty more of the white stuff to start again soon.

"We've got our next system on its way, so we can expect snow to begin tomorrow morning for the Coquihalla and some of the other Interior highways. So, motorists will need to again be careful when making their plans for Tuesday."

West cautions drivers who must drive to check Drive BC and the Environment Canada websites before heading out. She also advises people to bring emergency kits and to let family or friends know you're travelling in case you don't show up at your intended destination.

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