Coquihalla Highway reopened in both directions between Hope and Merritt Thursday morning

The Coquihalla Highway as seen on a traffic camera Wednesday afternoon. DriveBC

The Coquihalla Highway reopened around 7 a.m. Thursday, according to DriveBC. Major delays are still expected due to traffic and congestion.

The highway was closed in both directions between Hope and Merritt overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning, amid dangerous winter conditions.

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In a media release Wednesday evening, the Ministry of Transportation said powerful arctic outflow winds were sweeping the Coquihalla Canyon, and blowing away sand laid down for traction.

Much of southern B.C. remained under extreme cold and arctic outflow warnings on Wednesday.

Traffic cameras in the area showed icy and snowy conditions on the road.

“Icy road conditions with freezing temperatures are creating road hazards that are difficult to maintain and/or manage at this time,” highway contractor Emil Anderson Maintenance posted to Twitter.

Read more: Extreme cold weather warnings issued for most of B.C. Wednesday

DriveBC also said crews responded to a “vehicle incident” somewhere south of the Shylock Road exit.

B.C. Emergency Health Services said it was called about a crash on the highway just before 2:45 p.m. Wednesday.

It deployed six units, including an air ambulance. Three patients were taken to hospital in unknown condition.

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