One of the busiest stretches of highway in British Columbia is set to reopen at 2 p.m. Thursday after being closed for more than a week.
Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack has been deemed safe for vehicles and will be accessible for all vehicles starting Thursday afternoon.
Crews have worked faster than expected, pushing up the reopening between McCallum Road and Yale Road West from the estimated reopening time of 9 p.m.
The province decided not to limit access to essential vehicles only as there are enough lanes open to facilitate all travellers.
The road has been closed for a week and a half after it was engulfed by floodwaters during a historic storm. Crews had to wait until water levels receded before being able to do the safety assessments needed to open the road, the province said.
Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said Thursday traffic will not be as usual along this stretch, it will be slower than normal and drivers should expect delays.
Highway 1 between Popkum and Hope remains open to one lane of travel in each direction and is for essential travel only.
The B.C. government is still urging residents to be prepared for the storms and to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
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The province is recovering from devastating flooding and mudslides in mid-November and now the first of three atmospheric rivers has struck the province.
The previous floods and mudslides killed five people and destroyed parts of major highways, rail lines and farmland.
About 80,000 drivers use the route between Langley and Chilliwack every day, according to the Ministry of Transportation.
The province is telling everyone to stay up-to-date with alerts, buy only what you need in the short-term, stormproof your home and follow road and travel restrictions.
More to come.
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