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Highway 1 through Fraser Canyon reopens to all traffic

Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: Cost of emergency roadway repairs estimated at $170-220M, province says' B.C. floods: Cost of emergency roadway repairs estimated at $170-220M, province says
Providing an update on the emergency repairs to provincial highways in the wake of devastating flooding in November, B.C. Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said the cost of these repairs is estimated at $170 to $220 million. He said a final price tag for these repairs would not be known for several months – Jan 18, 2022

More than two months after catastrophic floods wreaked havoc on southern B.C. roads, the provincial government has reopened another portion of a major highway.

At noon on Monday, all traffic resumed on Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon, restoring a critical route connecting the Lower Mainland to the B.C. Interior and North.

“We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of the crews and staff who have put in long hours to make the repairs necessary to reopen Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon,” said Transportation Minister Rob Fleming in a Monday news release.

“The construction and engineering accomplishments to get people and goods moving again after the highway sustained such heavy damage are nothing short of remarkable.”

Read more: Months after disastrous floods, B.C.’s Coquihalla Highway to fully reopen Wednesday

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Motorists are being advised to expect delays up to two hours or more as repairs continue. Sections of single-lane alternative traffic, including a temporary single-lane bridge at Jackass Mountain and Nicomen River, remain in place.

The highway will be open to legal-width and weight-loading trucks travelling north, the ministry adds, but loads will be limited to 25 metres in length until rehabilitation of the highway bridge at Nicomen River is completed.

The avalanche risk in the region is high this year. Drivers should expect closures on short notice due to disaster risk and cleanup.

Click to play video: 'This is BC: Local mechanics helping get devastated Fraser Valley farmers back to work' This is BC: Local mechanics helping get devastated Fraser Valley farmers back to work
This is BC: Local mechanics helping get devastated Fraser Valley farmers back to work – Jan 20, 2022

Floods and mudslides damaged 18 sections of Highway 1 between Hope and Spences Bridges between Nov. 14 and 15.

General traffic resumed on the Coquihalla Highway last week. OnHighway 8, progress has been made on repairing 10 of 23 impacted sites.

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Long-term highway repair planning is currently underway, according to the minister.

Read more: ‘Welcome, just drive slow’: B.C.’s storm-ravaged Coquihalla Highway reopens to the public

In a recent public update, Fleming said final cost estimates on B.C. flood damage and repair are not yet available, but early estimates for emergency repairs restoring temporary access are in the range of $170 million to $200 million.

That doesn’t include permanent rebuilds of the damaged areas.

In December, the Insurance Bureau of Canada estimated the storms and flooding to have caused $450 million in insured damage, based on preliminary data.

The Business Council of B.C. has also estimated the weather disaster will result in lost economic output for B.C. ranging from $250 million to $400 million.

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