NEWS — The Coquihalla Highway is expected to be open for traffic again between Merritt and Hope some time between 7 and 8 tonight (Wednesday) after extreme conditions shut it down in both directions.
Crews have been dealing with an unusually heavy snowfall even for the Coq, plus a small avalanche that occurred late Tuesday.
DriveBC reports as of shortly after 6:30 p.m. that the highway is still closed for cleanup even though it was earlier expected it would re-open by the end of the afternoon.
Alternate routes are Highway 8 and 1 or Highway 3.
Heavy snow is expected between Merritt and Hope tonight as the last in a series of Pacific weather systems crosses the South Coast mountains.
Environment Canada says snow from the system will spread into the high elevation highway passes this evening.
Heaviest snowfall is expected over the Coquihalla summit where 10 to 20 cm. is likely by Thursday morning.
The snow will ease to scattered flurries by tomorrow afternoon as the system moves into Alberta.
The weatherman says a much drier northwesterly flow will then arrive, ending the heavy snowfalls.