After being closed southbound earlier in the day due to a vehicle incident, Highway 5 between Merritt and Hope has now been closed in both directions until at least Saturday (March 4) afternoon.

The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (MOTI) said in a press release that travel on the highway is unsafe due to extreme weather conditions and high avalanche risk. More than 70 centimetres of snow has fallen on this section of the Coquihalla within the past 48 hours, with more expected to come overnight. According to the release, MOTI is planning avalanche control for the stretch of highway for the the morning of March 4.

While they await the expected avalanche control measures, the regional maintenance contractor has deployed its crews and equipment to prepare the highway for travel if conditions allow. The province offered two alternate routes during the closure, but noted that travellers on both roads can expect significant delays.

“Highways 1 and 3 are alternate routes between the Coast and the Interior,” said MOTI.

“However, drivers on both routes can expect significant delays.”

Road conditions are available to view at DriveBC, and drivers are reminded to exercise caution. Adjust to winter driving conditions, and ensure the use of winter tires or snow chains.

For information on emergency plans and kits for winter driving, go to