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Repairs underway on Coquihalla Highway, officials confident with January reopening timeline

Click to play video: 'Repairs underway on Coquihalla Highway, officials confident with January reopening timeline' Repairs underway on Coquihalla Highway, officials confident with January reopening timeline
Repairs underway on Coquihalla Highway, officials confident with January reopening timeline – Dec 10, 2021

Highway repairs from the aftermath of the atmospheric river on the Coquihalla Highway are well underway.

Substantial progress has been made on some of the damages along the highway.

“It’s really been a number of spectacular weeks of recovery reuniting every part of B.C., getting supply chains activated,” said B.C. Minister of Transportation Rob Fleming.

“It’s a result of a collaboration with the federal government, the local government and the First Nations government.”

Click to play video: 'First look at Coquihalla repairs' First look at Coquihalla repairs
First look at Coquihalla repairs – Dec 10, 2021

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In total, there are more than 20 different repair sites on the highway, including 14 segments where lanes were washed out, as well as seven bridges that were severely impacted.

Repair crews have been working 24 hours a day since the initial damages, according to the Ministry of Transportation.

Read more: Abbotsford, B.C. lifts final evacuation order, but warns of disaster if dikes aren’t updated

There are more than 300 workers on the recovery project.

“It won’t be like it was; it won’t be four lanes all the way through (to Hope),” said Paula Cousins, Ministry of Transportation’s executive director of the Southern-Interior Region.

“But, it will allow traffic to keep moving. We are confident that will happen by early January.”

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The Federal Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra was also on site visiting from Ottawa, seeing the repairs take place first-hand.

Read more: Rainfall warning issued for Metro Vancouver, strong winds forecast for coastal areas

“Hearing about it in theory is one thing. Seeing it on the ground here is quite revealing,” said Alghabra.

“The supply chain for Canada that runs through B.C. was impacted. We were reminded during this event that we are all dependent on each other. It is really important, for all of Canada, that we recover the supply chain as quickly as possible.”’

Officials say they expect to have two lanes to be operational on the Coquihalla Highway by early January.

Click to play video: 'Abbotsford, B.C. mayor warns of disaster if province, feds don’t pitch in for dike repair' Abbotsford, B.C. mayor warns of disaster if province, feds don’t pitch in for dike repair
Abbotsford, B.C. mayor warns of disaster if province, feds don’t pitch in for dike repair – Dec 10, 2021

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