B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced it is moving forward on permanent repairs to the Coquihalla (Highway 5), marking another milestone in the province’s recovery 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. “We are excited to move forward on the permanent reconstruction of this key route. We will be making our infrastructure more resilient to climate change and future weather events so it remains reliable, safe and efficient for people and as our key goods movement corridor for now and for years to come.”
The ministry has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to select contractors who qualified through the Highway Reinstatement Program request for qualifications (RFQ) 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 kilometres south of Merritt
- Juliet Bridges, three kilometres south of Bottletop
- Jessica Bridges, 48 kilometres south of Juliet
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 as part of the Province’s commitment to building back better to ensure infrastructure is equipped to endure the effects of climate change.
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.
The ministry will also be proceeding in the coming months with the repair of the Othello washout area 10 kilometres east of Hope. A tender package will be prepared and made available for contractors. The ministry is focused on permanent repair efforts on these four Coquihalla sites as a first priority, as they have been operating with temporary repairs following November’s flooding.
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. More information on those projects will be shared in the coming weeks.
Featured image: The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is moving forward on permanent repairs to the Coquihalla (Highway 5). (BC Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation)