As of Jan. 14, Highway 1 has reopened between Lytton and Spences Bridge, following major reconstruction work at sites that were impacted — and in some cases washed away — by the flooding in mid-November, 2021.
Highway 1 remains closed between Lytton and Hope due to record snowfall and the avalanche risk in the area. This has also delayed work in the area of Jackass Mountain, where a 260-foot, single-lane Acrow bridge is being installed as a temporary measure to span a washed-out area. Once the snow has cleared and the avalanche risk has subsided, crews will resume work in the area.
Traffic between Spences Bridge and Lytton is not being limited to certain types of vehicles (eg. essential or commercial vehicles), and is open to general travel. Commercial vehicles can operate with legal widths and loads, but will be limited to 25 metres in length due to the winding nature of much of the highway.
Travellers are being advised to expect significant delays. Once the highway is fully reopened, a two-hour delay on top of the regular travel time from Spences Bridge to Hope should be expected. In addition to the single-lane bridge at Jackass Mountain, there will be other single-lane sections of highway, including the Nicomen Bridge site, as well as active construction sites and work zones with reduced speed limits in effect. Travellers are also being reminded that winter driving conditions through the canyon can be unpredictable.
At Tank Hill north of Lytton, there is now an at-grade rail crossing on the highway, which formerly passed under the CP mainline. There are crossing gates, lights, and bells at the site, as well as flaggers warning drivers of the change at the site, which also involves steep grades.
While most of the repaired sites have been paved, motorists are warned that the Nicomen Bridge site involves a gravel detour.
The flooding in November resulted in significant damage to 15 sites along Highway 1 between Hope and Spences Bridge. Much of the work that has been done to reopen the highway to traffic is temporary in nature; work will be ongoing to design and plan more permanent solutions over the long term.
The Ministry of Transportation is publishing regular updates about its work on Highways 1 and 8. These updates can all be viewed on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District website at https://bit.ly/3A4Kr0Q.
Drivers setting out on any of B.C.’s highways should visit www.drivebc.ca for route updates, highway closures, restrictions and advisories, and more.
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