B.C. plans permanent repairs for sections of Coquihalla Highway damaged by floods

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is moving forward on permanent repairs to the Coquihalla (Highway 5), following the significant flooding event in November 2021.

“Our crews worked hard to get the Coquihalla reopened after the severe flooding event and were able to do so in short order about a month after the storm. The pace of reconstruction to get the Coquihalla back open to traffic was impressive and beyond anything we could have imagined,” said Rob Fleming, minister of transportation and infrastructure.

The ministry has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to select contractors who qualified through the Highway Reinstatement Program request for qualifications process, inviting these companies to take part in the competitive selection process to design and construct permanent repairs needed at three sites:

  • Bottletop Bridges, 50 km south of Merritt
  • Juliet Bridges, 3 km south of Bottletop
  • Jessica Bridges, 48 km south of Juliet
A crew works on Coquihalla (Highway 5), in January . (Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

This will return the Coquihalla in these areas to the previous full four-lane capacity. The sites will be repaired to withstand future extreme weather events.

The RFP for the repair project closes in mid-April with the contract expected to be awarded in late April or early May. Construction is expected to begin in summer and be completed by the end of this year.

Flooding and washouts associated with the November rain event damaged more than 20 sites along 130 kilometres of the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt. This included seven bridges where spans completely collapsed or were otherwise heavily damaged.

The ministry will also be proceeding in the coming months with the repair of the Othello washout area 10 km east of Hope.

The ministry is also working toward making permanent repairs to the other flood-damaged highways in B.C., including Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon and Highway 8 in the Nicola Valley.

Traffic delays are expected throughout construction, including periods of single-lane alternating traffic and short, intermittent full closures. Drivers are reminded that B.C.’s winter-tire and chain-up regulations are in effect on the Coquihalla Highway until April 30.