Government of British Columbia

Government of British Columbia

January 17, 2011 19:58 ET

Government of British Columbia: Highway 97 Pine Pass Reopens

PRINCE GEORGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 17, 2011) -

2011TRAN0006-000038

Jan. 17, 2011

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

PRINCE GEORGE - The Pine Pass on Highway 97 between Prince George and Chetwynd has been reopened, Transportation and Infrastructure Shirley Bond Minister announced today.

"Parts of B.C. are experiencing avalanche conditions that we haven't seen in about 30 years," said Bond. "Our avalanche technicians and maintenance crews are working around the clock to ensure our roads are safe, and we've made some great progress today with reopening the Pine Pass less than 24 hours after the avalanche came down."

Highway 97 at Pine Pass, approximately 70 km south of Chetwynd, was closed by an avalanche on Sunday afternoon, which left the highway covered with as much as two metres of avalanche debris. Avalanche technicians mobilized overnight, assessed the alpine area by helicopter, triggered additional avalanches to clear the snow pack and determined the area is safe for workers and motorists. The road is now open to single-lane alternating traffic. Motorists can expect delays of up to 20 minutes.

Highway 1 through the Rogers Pass east of Revelstoke has also been reopened.

Highway 1 east of Golden, through the Kicking Horse Canyon, remains closed, with a six kilometre-long section affected by avalanches. The low ceiling has kept the Province's avalanche control technicians on the ground today. The estimated time of reopening for this stretch of highway is Wednesday, weather permitting.

Highway 93 from Radium to the Alberta border through Kootenay National Park will also remain closed overnight but there's a high likelihood that it will reopen on Tuesday.

Other routes that remain closed because of high avalanche hazard are:

  • Highway 1 from Field to Lake Louise
  • Highway 23 from Revelstoke to Mica Dam
  • Highway 31 from Gerrard Bridge to the junction with Highway 23
  • Highway 31A from Kaslo to New Denver
  • Highway 3 in Kootenay Pass has a short-term closure in effect

"Maintenance crews are out in full force across the province patrolling the highway 24/7, along with plowing and sanding," said Bond. "With changing weather conditions, it's important you "know before you go" and check DriveBC before deciding to travel. All travel advisories are posted on DriveBC, and you can check out road conditions in real-time on 175 webcams strategically placed around the province."

For the latest travel advisories and detour information, visit DriveBC at: www.drivebc.ca.

For details on avalanche-related closures, check out the Province's Avalanche Advisory page at: www.th.gov.bc.ca/AvalancheAdvisories/index.html.

Follow the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/tranbc.

For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province's news feeds using RSS, visit the Province's website at www.gov.bc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Public Affairs Bureau
    Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
    Jeff Knight
    250-356-7707