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Coquihalla Highway reopening to all traffic on Wednesday

The Coquihalla Highway will be reopening to all traffic on Wednesday but it's not what drivers remember it being

The Coquihalla Highway will be reopening to all traffic on Wednesday.

“This will be a much more convenient route for people,” said Transportation Minister Rob Fleming on Tuesday. “It also represents a significant milestone in our recovery from the devastating storms.”

Drivers are being advised, however, that this is not the Coquihalla that they remember.

EV charging stations are still out of service, some rest areas are closed, while some sections of the highway are two-lane traffic only. Multiple speed reductions are in place.

The drive between Hope and Merritt will take about 45 minutes longer than normal.

The provincial government is also allowing its state of emergency related to flood repairs to expire tonight.

On Wednesday, Jan. 19, weight restrictions will be lifted from Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet. However, drivers of large commercial vehicles are discouraged from using this route because of the challenging terrain.

In the Fraser Canyon, Highway 1 has partially reopened from Kanaka Bar south of Lytton to Spences Bridge. Drivers can expect delays on this section of Highway 1.

Highway 1 between Kanaka Bar and Hope remains closed. Record snowfalls and recent avalanche risks had delayed work around Jackass Mountain. However, crews are back on site and it is expected the highway will reopen to all vehicle traffic before the end of January.

When Highway 1 in the Fraser Canyon reopens, drivers can expect lengthy delays with additional travel times as long as two hours or longer, depending on the destination. Delays are a result of ongoing repairs, an at-grade train crossing, avalanche control and sections of single-lane alternating traffic, which includes a temporary single-lane bridge at the Jackass Mountain and Nicomen River crossing.