By Laura Keil

Freezing rain, avalanche risk and existing closures due to washouts conspired to knock out three of B.C.’s major connectors between B.C.’s Interior and the Lower Mainland today.

Around 2am this morning Hwy 5 was closed from Hope B.C. to Merritt due to freezing rain. Later, a vehicle incident north of Hope led to a continued closure of a small section of highway. DriveBC is reporting the road is now clear for commercial traffic only. Construction work on the Coquihalla continues after large-scale washouts in November.

Highway 3, which connects Hope and Princeton, also closed this morning in both directions due to high avalanche hazard between Second Avalanche Gate and Allison Pass Summit (37 km southeast of Hope). An estimated time of opening was not available as of 3:30pm on Friday Jan. 7th.

Highway 1 between Hope and Lytton remains closed to through traffic as road re-construction continues after the catastrophic slides in November. The estimated time of re-opening is mid-January.

For local traffic on that stretch of Hwy 1, there is a travel advisory today in effect between Victoria St and Old Boston Bar Rd for 40.9 km (Yale to 27 km south of Jackass Mountain Summit) due to winter conditions. A section of road between Toll Rd and Alder Rd (Yale to 26 km south of Jackass Mountain Summit) is closed due to high avalanche hazard.

DriveBC warns drivers in the Robson Valley (sections of Hwy 5 and Hwy 16) to watch out for blowing snow, compact snow and slippery sections.