B.C.’s transportation ministry reopened Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon Monday at noon, with a temporary bridge to span a gap where a 70-metre section of the road was sheared off by a landslide last November.
Jackass Mountain is one of the steepest parts of the canyon highway, which winds through seven tunnels and is a known avalanche zone. Drivers will have a pilot car service to guide them for about four kilometres as they navigate the single-lane bridge and other repair areas.
There were 18 sites on Highway 1 damaged between Hope and Spences Bridge, including four that require extensive repairs. Trucks on the route will be allowed legal width and weight, but loads are limited to 25 metres long until the reconstruction of the highway bridge at Nicomen River is completed.
Repairs have gone ahead despite cold temperatures, record snowfalls and avalanche risk that continues to be high in the Fraser Canyon.
“The construction and engineering accomplishments to get people and goods moving again after the highway sustained such heavy damage are nothing short of remarkable,” Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said in announcing the reopening Jan. 24.