The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced the opening of two-way traffic on Highway 1 on the Falls Creek Bridge two years after the road was severely damaged in the 2021 floods.

Traffic opened to a single lane in each direction on Dec. 15, 2023, on the Falls Creek Bridge (Jackass Mountain), located 55 kilometres south of Spences Bridge.

“Getting to this phase of the Falls Creek project marks a significant achievement in our recovery from the 2021 atmospheric river and our efforts to enhance the safety and reliability of Highway 1,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Over the last two years, I have seen the remarkable dedication of our ministry staff, contractors, and Indigenous and municipal leaders who have come together to support the recovery from the unprecedented floods. Our government is committed to rebuilding safe and efficient infrastructure that can withstand future climate events.”

A temporary single-lane bridge has been in place since a culvert washout in 2021. A new three-lane permanent Falls Creek bridge is under construction and will be completed next year.

“Kanaka Bar Band and its members are excited to hear that Highway 1 will be opening back to two lanes. It has been a long two years for our community since the atmospheric river event and how the aftermath impacted our daily commute. We have had a great relationship with the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Falls Creek Alliance team, and are grateful for the collaboration and information sharing during the highway repairs. We look forward to some normalcy in our daily commute and a continued working relationship with all involved with the Falls Creek Highway Project,” said Jordan Spinks, Chief of Kanaka Bar Indian Band.

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The new bridge will enhance traffic flow and is designed for resilience against severe weather conditions.

Falls Creek culvert on Jackass Mountain was washed out during the floods in November 2021.

Highway 1 through the Fraser-Thompson Corridor closed between Spences Bridge and Hope on Nov. 14, 2021, due to damage caused by heavy rains.

More than 150 workers, using 80 pieces of equipment, moved more than 150,000 cubic metres of gravel, rock and other material to repair and reopen Highway 1 to vehicle traffic on Jan. 14, 2022 (Lytton to Spences Bridge), and Jan. 24, 2022 (Lytton to Boston Bar).

There were 18 sites affected on Highway 1 between Hope and Spences Bridge, including four that required extensive temporary repairs to reopen.

Featured image: People travelling Highway 1 south of Spences Bridge will have faster travel times with the opening of two-way traffic two years after the road was severely damaged in the 2021 floods. (B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

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