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Permanent repairs begin soon to Coquihalla and Highway 1

Press Release

June 16, 2022

MERRITT – Permanent repairs to flood-damaged sections of the Coquihalla (Highway 5) and Highway 1 will soon be underway, protecting the safe movement of people and goods in British Columbia.

“This marks a significant milestone in our recovery from the devastating atmospheric river events of last fall,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Following the extraordinary work that was done to reconnect these highways in December, we’re building back permanent infrastructure that will be equipped to better withstand the impacts of climate change and future extreme weather events. I want to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who have worked together to help us recover from the unprecedented floods, including the local First Nation communities that continue to work closely with us as we move into this next phase of recovery.”

The contract for development and early construction work on sections of the Coquihalla between Hope and Merritt has been awarded to KEA5, a joint venture between Peter Kiewit & Sons and Emil Anderson Construction.

The work to return the Coquihalla to the previous full, four-lane capacity will begin this summer and take place at three sites:

  • Bottletop Bridges, 50 kilometres south of Merritt;
  • Juliet Bridges, three kilometres south of Bottletop; and
  • Jessica Bridges, 48 kilometres south of Juliet.

Work is expected to be substantially complete this winter. All efforts will be made to minimize traffic disruptions during peak travel hours, and crews will work overnight when possible.

The project will be completed through a collaborative construction model where the owner and contractor work together to complete the design and construction of the project, including sharing risks and incentives.

The ministry has also issued a request for proposals (RFP) for damaged sections along Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon. The RFP process invites select contractors who qualified through the Highway Reinstatement Program request for qualifications (RFQ) process to take part in the competitive selection process to design and construct the permanent repairs needed at:

  • Falls Creek Bridge, 55 kilometres south of Spences Bridge;
  • Tank Hill Crossing, 23 kilometres south of Spences Bridge; and
  • Nicomen River Bridge, 19 kilometres south of Spences Bridge.

The RFP for the repair project will close Sept. 14, 2022, with the contract awarded shortly after.

The ministry is also continuing to make good progress on restoring  access throughout the Highway 8 corridor. The storms completely washed out 25 sections of this highway, leading to the closure of the highway between Merritt and Spences Bridge.

Since then, the ministry has completed temporary repairs at 18 locations and construction has started on another two. Work is being planned for the near future at the five remaining sites to complete temporary repairs along this route.

Traffic delays are expected throughout construction on all highway reinstatement projects, including periods of single-lane alternating traffic and short, intermittent full closures. Advanced notice of any traffic disruptions will be provided. Updates will be available online at DriveBC.ca and on Twitter at @DriveBC.

Quick Facts:

  • Highway 5 was closed to regular vehicle traffic on Nov. 14, 2021, due to damage caused by an atmospheric river.
  • Flooding and washouts associated with the November 2021 rain damaged more than 20 sites along 130 kilometres of the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt.
    • This included seven bridges where spans completely collapsed or were heavily damaged.
  • More than 300 workers using 200 pieces of equipment moved more than 400,000 cubic metres of gravel, rock and other material to repair and reopen Highway 5 to commercial vehicle traffic in 35 days, on Dec. 20, 2021, and to all traffic on Jan. 19, 2022.

Learn More:

For updated highway information, visit: DriveBC.ca

For more information on the highway flood recovery projects: gov.bc.ca/highwayfloodrecovery.com

Contact:

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Media Relations
250 356-8241

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