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'Extreme winter weather' prompts travel advisory for Metro Vancouver, many highways and roads closed or impacted

You might say this current winter storm has had a snowball effect on Metro Vancouver's roads and highways.
Cambie is closed at West Broadway. Photo: @littlevyu/Twitter

Wintery road conditions have led to a treacherous Wednesday morning commute.

The Ministry of Transportation has issued a travel advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley:

"Because of extreme winter weather, motorists are advised to avoid all but essential travel throughout the Metro Vancouver region today, including the Fraser Valley," they caution, adding that a similar advisory applies to highways on Vancouver Island.

Here is the advisory in full:

"Persistent snow, high winds and cold temperatures are causing poor road conditions. Those who must travel are asked to use extreme caution and drive to the conditions. The ministry advises travellers to expect winter conditions for the rest of the week.

All motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and drive according to weather and road conditions, slowing down when they encounter bad weather or limited visibility. 

Winter tire regulations are in effect, and drivers are encouraged to get the best tires they can. People should ensure their vehicles have tires with the mountain/snowflake or mud and snow (M + S) symbol when travelling on designated routes.   

Also, keep space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of yours so you can stop safely. Keep well back of all the winter maintenance equipment on highways so operators can perform their maintenance safely.:  

Drive BC has issued a travel advisory for the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy 1) in the Hope area, while highways and roads in the Metro Vancouver are also affected by the snow and ice.

The Trans Canada Highway is now closed between Sumas way and Hunter Creek due to deteriorating weather conditions, detours are available via Hwy 7, Hwy 9, and Hwy 11. DriveBC is expected to issue an update on this route at 11 a.m.

Here are some of the current issues facing motorists in Metro Vancouver, according to Drive BC:

  • Highway 91: Travel advisory in effect between Alex Fraser Bridge and Highway 17 (Delta). Morning counterflow at the Alex Fraser Bridge has been cancelled due to poor conditions and low traffic volume. Next update: 9 a.m.
  • Highway 99: Travel advisory in effect at Massey Tunnel (Richmond). Morning counterflow at the Massey Tunnel has been cancelled due to poor conditions and low traffic volume. Next update 9 a.m.
  • Highway 99, in both directions: Winter driving conditions between Lions Gate Bridge and Welch St for 0.2 km (West Vancouver). Centre lane closed. Next update: 2 p.m.
Some streets in the City of Vancouver are closed as well, as crews focus on major roads:

Among those closures are Cambie Street, which has been shut down on the slope south of West Broadway.

Routes in Delta are also closed.

Those headed in or out of Burnaby Wednesday will also face road closures; full details are available here, via Burnaby NOW.

For anyone hoping to re-route themselves out of vehicles and onto public transit, TransLink is experiencing "significant delays." Read more about that here.