The Coquihalla Highway between Merritt and Hope will be closed for several hours on Jan. 8 for avalanche control. (Photo: Driveway Cams)

Coquihalla between Hope and Merritt to be closed on Jan. 8 for avalanche control

Highway will be closed for approximately four hours depending on weather

Anyone planning on driving the Coquihalla on Wednesday, Jan. 8 should be aware that the highway will be closed between Hope and Merritt from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day to allow for proactive avalanche control.

Heavy snowfall over the last several weeks means that avalanche control via helicopter is required from 11 kilometres south of the Great Bear Snowshed to nine kilometres north of the Coquihalla summit. This will remove weak layers of snow and ice, and reduce the overall depth of the snowpack, which will provide continued safe travel for people using the Coquihalla.

The highway will be closed southbound in Merritt and northbound at Hope beginning at 11 a.m., and closed northbound at Portia and southbound at Zopkios beginning at noon. The Coquihalla is expected to reopen by 3 p.m., but changes to the timeline may occur, depending on the weather.

Drivers should change their travel plans as necessary and check and @DriveBC on Twitter for the most up-to-date highway travel information.

During avalanche season, people can expect some highway closures, either due to high avalanche hazard conditions or to allow for avalanche control.

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