Planning Travel Via British Columbia's Hope Princeton Hwy This Holiday Season?
Updated: Dec 17, 2021
Update to this story: https://www.exnews.net/post/bc-highways-set-to-open-monday-minister-fleming
Update to this story: https://www.exnews.net/post/coquihalla-set-to-reopen-monday-december-20th
Planning your holiday travel?
As of December 8th, there are travel restrictions in place allowing only essential travel on Highway 3 between the southern coast of BC and the rest of Canada. Hwy 3 is the only practical route to reopen since BC was hit hard by rain, floods and slides.
Highway 99 is open for essential travel between Pemberton and Lillooet but it's an old and out of date highway.
The Coquihalla between Hope and Merritt and Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon remain closed. Highway 1 probably won't open until the middle of January.
The Coquihalla may open some lanes around the same time but probably only for essential traffic.
The travel restrictions for Highway 3, also known as the Hope Princeton Highway are in effect for both directions between Hope and Princeton.
Unfortunately, traveling for vacation or family visits is not permitted according to the list of what's considered essential travel. The restrictions are in place to reduce the number of vehicles on the overstressed mountain highway.
There is another route outside of Canada through Washington State. Check here to see if the option works for you.
You can only travel on the highway segments for essential reasons:
Transporting essential goods and supplies, for example:
- Food, water and other beverages
- Fuel and gasoline
- Health care goods, pharmaceuticals and medical supplies
- Personal hygiene, sanitation and cleaning goods
- Transporting livestock, agricultural or seafood products and supplies
- Livestock producers, veterinarians and support workers traveling to provide care for animals
- Responding to emergencies, including search and rescue operations
- Evacuations for medical reasons and urgent medical treatment
- Transporting essential personnel
- Highway and infrastructure repair and maintenance
- Commercially transporting goods and supplies
- Returning to your principal residence (home),
- Includes picking up a person who resides at your place of residence and is returning home
- Returning a child to their principal residence
- Includes families with shared custody
- Moving your principal residence
- Going to work as essential personnel
- Picking up your child from a post-secondary institution to return home
- Assisting vulnerable or at-risk people
- Exercising an Aboriginal or treaty right as recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982
- Media members traveling to report on the flooding and mudslides
There are also restrictions on purchasing fuel in southwestern BC
B.C. is prioritizing gasoline and diesel for essential vehicles while working to keep fuel available for people in B.C. Under the EPA, an order restricting the purchase of vehicle fuel in certain regions of the province is in place until December 14 at midnight.
If you are not operating an essential vehicle, you are limited to purchasing 30 litres of fuel per trip to the gas station in these areas:
- Lower Mainland (Vancouver to Hope)
- Sea to Sky (Squamish to Pemberton)
- Sunshine Coast
- Gulf Islands
- Vancouver Island
Essential vehicles can access cardlock gas stations 24 hours a day
Essential vehicles will not have a fuel limit. The majority of these vehicles will be able to access gas at commercial trucking gas stations (cardlock gas stations).
Essential vehicles are:
- Emergency service vehicles (Fire, police, ambulance and health care including urgent medical treatment)
- Public transit vehicles
- Commercial transport trucks for critical goods and services (Food and beverage, health care, safety)
- Refrigerated trucks
- Potable water delivery and wastewater service
- Grocery delivery
- Road repair, maintenance and recovery vehicles and tow trucks
- Military vehicles
- Critical infrastructure, construction and repair vehicles
- Home-care workers
- Municipal services vehicles
- First Nations government services vehicles
- BC Ferries, Coast Guard, tugboats, marine emergency and pilot boats
- Canada Post and other couriers/package delivery vehicles
- Vehicles for the provision of critical government services
- Airport authority vehicles and air travel
- Waste disposal and recycling
- BC Hydro, Fortis and other heavy-duty and light-duty utility vehicles
- Telecommunication repair and installation vehicles
- Fuel delivery trucks and boats
- School buses
- Taxis and inter-city buses
- Agricultural and farm-use vehicles including vehicles supporting flood response
- Veterinarians supporting flood response