One section of the Coquihalla Highway that was washed out last fall will soon undergo permanent repairs.
On Thursday, the provincial government announced that a $4.6-million repair contract for the Othello section of the highway was awarded to Emil Anderson Construction and the Chawathil First Nation.
The joint venture to repair the section is expected to start in early August, and should be completed by fall. The section is located around three kilometres north of the junction of highways 3 and 5.
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Around 460 metres of the southbound lanes were washed out. Those will be replaced, along with upsizing culverts, widening shoulders and reinstating roadside barriers and spillways.
“This marks another milestone in our recovery from the atmospheric river events that severely damaged our highway infrastructure last fall,” said Rob Fleming, B.C.’s minister of transportation and infrastructure.
“We’re working quickly to build permanent infrastructure back at a better, more climate-resilient standard that will protect the movement of people and goods through our province.”
B.C.’s Coquihalla Highway seen from the air shows extent of the damage
Fleming noted he was pleased that the Chawathil First Nation is involved in the joint venture.
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“We are proud to be a part of this project with Emil Anderson,” said Chawathil First Nation Chief Rhoda Peters. “To participate in work that is developed within our traditional territory shows we are moving ahead with business for Chawathil.
“So many highways, railways, pipelines and hydro lines cut through our lands without agreements with our leaders. Today, our Nation is able to sit at the table and work together as the future unfolds at a fast pace before us.”
Coquihalla Highway reopens to essential traffic five weeks after devastating floods
The Coquihalla sustained catastrophic damage following heavy rainfall last November. In all, flooding and washouts damaged more than 20 sites along 130 kilometres of the highway between Hope and Merritt. The damage included seven bridges, where some spans collapsed.
The province says all efforts will be made to minimize traffic disruptions during peak travel hours, but that delays are expected throughout construction on all highway-reinstatement projects.
For the latest highway conditions throughout the province, visit DriveBC.
Coquihalla Highway reopens to general public
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