Abbotsford flooding. /Photo courtesy Mark Johnston

By Laura Keil

A route to the southern interior of British Columbia is now open for transporting goods and essential travel using Highway 7 and Highway 3.

All highways into the southern Interior were closed after mudslides and flooding blocked roadways since last weekend. The Province says Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure staff and highway maintenance contractors have worked around the clock since Sunday to remove debris and repair road surfaces.

Checkpoints will be in place and travel restrictions will be enforced. For a list of Essential Purposes for travel click here:”

Drivers should expect sections of single-lane alternating traffic on Highway 7 and three sections of single-lane alternating traffic on Highway 3 east of Hope. Delays will be significant, given the amount of essential goods to be delivered and the many people eager to complete their trips home.

The Province strongly encourages motorists to wait an extra day or two to travel if possible. This will help the movement of essential goods on Highway 3, according to a release.

For drivers who must travel for essential purposes, the ministry urges preparation and patience.

“Highway corridors between the Lower Mainland and the rest of the province are anticipated to be extremely busy with commercial traffic, and at this time of year, conditions can change quickly,” the province says in a news release.

“Drivers may be taking an unfamiliar route to their destination. Use extreme caution, obey signs, speed limits and the direction of any traffic control personnel.”

Drivers are reminded that B.C.’s winter tire regulations are in effect. The Province’s maintenance contractors will be out in full force on these key goods routes, but it is important that drivers do their part and drive to conditions.

Other safety tips for winter driving apply, including travelling with a full tank of gas, food and water, and warm clothes.

For updated road conditions, go to:”

Hwy 3 wends its way along the bottom of the province near the Canada-US border. Hwy 3 (and Hwy 7 that travels from Vancouver to Hope) are the first to re-open after devastating flooding and mudslides cut off roadways between the Lower Mainland and the rest of the Canadian Mainland. /GOOGLE MAPS