Drivers on Coquihalla southbound warned to expect hours-long delays

Coquihalla Highway is seen in this undated image. (Shutterstock)

Drivers travelling on the Coquihalla southbound between Merritt and Hope are being warned to expect lengthy delays Sunday.

DriveBC posted an advisory in the afternoon saying "congestion and heavy traffic volumes" are adding at least an extra two hours to the trip along Highway 5.

"Allow extra travel time, or consider alternate route," the website says, noting there is a detour available by taking Highway 5A and then Highway 3.

Ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer travel season after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, the province has warned would-be road trippers to brace for issues caused by construction.

The Coquihalla was badly damaged during last year's catastrophic flooding, and closed to regular traffic for two months. When it reopened, only temporary repairs were completed.

With work on permanent repairs underway, some stretches will continue to see reduced speed limits and lane closures throughout the summer.

The combination of highway recovery work and summer traffic volumes is making delays inevitable, especially on the #Coquihalla and #BCHwy1.
�� Expect delays
�� Allow for extra time
�� Respect traffic control
�� Drive to conditions
�� Heed enforcement#ConeZoneBC pic.twitter.com/whJYmjDrom

— BC Transportation (@TranBC) July 3, 2022

A weather-related travel advisory is in effect for Highway 99 between Lillooet and Pemberton with DriveBC noting the potential for "pooling water and increased rock fall" caused by heavy rain.

Anyone using this highway is being cautioned it could be closed without notice.

This stretch of highway was also closed following last year's floods, during which landslides claimed the lives of four people.

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