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UPDATE: Coquihalla fully reopens after overnight closures

(UPDATE: Feb. 27 @ 5:30 am) - The Coquihalla has now fully reopened.

It was closed overnight due to a series of crashes.

<who> Photo credit: DriveBC </who> The Coquihalla near the summit early this morning.

The first closure was reported at about 5 pm on Monday near the Portia peak.

It was later closed near Larson Hill.

DriveBC reported that the road reopened in both directions at about 1 am.

(UPDATE: Feb. 26 @ 9 pm) - The Coquihalla Highway (Hwy 5) is now shut down in both directions between Merritt and Hope.

The northbound lanes closed around 5 pm due to several spin outs involving commercial vehicles around the Great Bear Snow Shed between Hope and the summit.

Now, a separate incident on the other side of the summit has resulted in the closure of the highway's southbound lanes.

DriveBC says the new "vehicle incident" happened around Larson Hill shortly after 8 pm.

Hwy 1 and Hwy 3 via Hwy 5A are both open to detour around the Hwy 5 closure, with motorists on the Coquihalla Road Reports Facebook group reporting mostly smooth sailing on Hwy 1 through the Fraser Canyon.

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for Hwy 5, as well as Hwy 1 from Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass and Hwy 3 through the Kootenays, but it's not for the current conditions.

The new alerts warn of 30 centimetres of snow and strong winds on both routes between Tuesday night and Thursday afternoon.

(UPDATE: Feb. 26 @ 5:30 pm) - The northbound lanes of the Coquihalla Highway (Hwy 5) are currently closed.

DriveBC says the closure is due to a vehicle incident north of Portia, which is between Hope and the Coquihalla summit.

A traveller reported on the Coquihalla Road Reports Facebook group that the closure is due to spun out trucks and the plows are stuck in heavy traffic.

Driving conditions on the major route have been an issue for most of the day due to heavy snowfall.

While no official highway alerts are in place, anyone planning on driving Hwy 5 this evening should consider delaying their trip until tomorrow if possible.

<who>Photo Credit: Melissa Bonneau/Coquihalla Road Reports on Facebook

(Original story: Feb. 26 @ 11:20 am) - There are no official highway alerts in effect, but that may change as the day goes on.

DriveBC is warning of heavy snowfall forecasted for several BC Interior highways over the next 24 hours.

The Ministry of Transportation’s highway information source specifically mentioned the Coquihalla (Hwy 5), Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) and Hwy 3 as routes that will see heavy snow.

Issues are already starting to arise on Hwy 5, where motorists are reporting significant delays around the summit.

One northbound traveller reported that they had been stuck near the chain up area before the snow shed for several minutes, but southbound traffic was still moving in the other direction.

According to DriveBC, commercial vehicle chain-up rules have been in effect for the route since early this morning.

<who>Photo Credit: Coquihalla Road Report Facebook group (Amanda Alexov/Naved Omid)</who>Conditions on the Coquihalla on Monday morning.

No accidents or closures have been reported, however, snow is expected to fall in the southern Interior for most of the day and into the evening.

The weather is expected to improve by early Tuesday morning.

As always, check DriveBC for all the latest on highway conditions and closures before heading out on a trip.

Send your comments, news tips, typos, letter to the editor, photos and videos to [email protected].






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