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Essential commercial travel now possible on Coquihalla Highway

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The highway ravaged by rushing mud and rivers is now open to essential commercial travel.

With Highway 5 now open for commercial vehicles weighing up to 11,794 kg, the travel restrictions on Highway 3 will be lifted Tuesday, Dec. 21, according to the province Monday.

The province says the restrictions will also be lifted on Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet although large commercial trucks still are not permitted.

President and CEO of the BC Trucking association Dave Earl says the supply chain can now start getting rebuilt.

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“Having the use of the Coquihalla Highway brings more predictability to the movement of goods through British Columbia,” said Earle. “This an important step toward restoring our supply chain, and our members appreciate the extraordinary efforts of everyone involved.”

B.C. is asking everyday drivers to be patient on Highway 3, expect delays and congestion and avoid highway travel unless necessary. They say drivers need to be comfortable driving on mountain roads, with the appropriate tires or chains.

More than 300 workers using 200 pieces of equipment moved more than 400,000 cubic metres of gravel, rock and other materials to repair the road in over a month. The province says, however, the repairs are temporary and they are starting plans for permanent fixes.

The opening of Highway 5 is a “testament to the strong working relationship between BC Road Builders and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure,” according to BC Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association president, Kelly Scott.

READ MORE: B.C. under new COVID-19 restrictions until end of January

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