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Coquihalla closed for six hours overnight to deal with avalanche concerns

The highway will be closed between Merritt and Hope for a bit
Screen Shot 2021-01-05 at 3.09.22 PM
The section of the Coquihalla highway will be closed tonight due to avalanche concerns.

Anyone heading into the interior will need to avoid the Coquihalla between Merritt and Hope late tonight.

The section of highway will be closed from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. to deal with some avalanche concerns.

"The avalanche control, using explosives, is due to heavy snowfall over the last several weeks," states the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in a press release. "This will remove any weak layers of snow and ice and reduce the overall depth of the snowpack, providing continued safe travel for people using the Coquihalla."

Over 70 cm of snow has fallen along that stretch of highway since New Year's Eve and more snow is expected.

"Based on records dating back to 1986 when the highway opened, the current accumulations in the area are the third-deepest snowpack for this time of year," states the ministry. "The current total accumulation to date is over 500 cm, which is 150% of the average snowfall for this time of the year."

DriveBC recommends Highway 1 or Highway 3 as alternate routes.