In the 40 years Jeff Figler has been driving trucks, this is the longest he’s had to wait.
“I’ve been stuck on the Coquihalla for 24 hours. That is it. But that’s the Coquihalla, that’s the highway through hell,” said Figler.
Figler and “hundreds and hundreds” of truck drivers have been idling in Headingley, waiting for the TransCanada highway to open since Friday. When spoken to just before 2 p.m. Saturday, he said he had been waiting for 32 hours so far.
“I’m looking down towards the perimeter, which is about what three kilometers away,” he said.
“And the lineup is all the way to the perimeter, and from the Husky [restaurant and truck stop] west, it’s all the way to the scale on the highway.”
Every lot and available side road is also full, said Figler.
While there are several nearby restaurants and two truck stops available for truckers to eat at and take a shower, the group is getting restless, said Figler.
“It’s costing the drivers two extra days a pay for for food and thousands and thousands of dollars of fuel being burned on reefers and trucks that don’t have self-heating units. The trucks are running for two days.”
As of 2 p.m., Highway 1 remained closed west of Headingley to the Saskatchewan border. While the weather calmed down around Winnipeg, west of the city the snow had yet to abate, leaving roads snow-covered and slippery.
RCMP couldn’t say when the roads would re-open.