Highway 1 reopened between Lytton and Spences Bridge after closure due to mud

·2 min read
The Trans Canada Highway between Spences Bridge and Lytton was closed on Friday out of precaution as heavy rainfall created the potential for debris flow in the area. (Google Maps - image credit)
The Trans Canada Highway between Spences Bridge and Lytton was closed on Friday out of precaution as heavy rainfall created the potential for debris flow in the area. (Google Maps - image credit)

UPDATE — 12:45 p.m., June 4: The Trans Canada Highway has been reopened between Lytton and Spences Bridge, B.C. after mud closed the highway overnight on Friday.

DriveBC said the highway reopened at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, and warned drivers to expect delays due to congestion.

Highway 1 was also momentarily reduced to single-lane traffic between Tappen Beach Road and 65 Avenue, near Salmon Arm, after mud caused delays on the road.

The original story follows.

The Trans Canada Highway between Lytton and Spences Bridge is closed due to forecasted heavy rainfall and the possibility of debris flows.

The highway is expected to remain closed overnight and will be inspected again on Saturday morning, the province says. Travellers are asked to check the DriveBC website, the province's online source for up-to-date road conditions and events.

The province says it has crews and equipment standing by to deal with any cleanup or repairs that may arise to ensure the road can be reopened safely.

Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) Area Director Steven Rice told CBC there have been at least three mudslides along the Nicola River, which runs from Merritt to Spences Bridge, where it empties into the Thompson River.

He said since the ground was compromised by wildfire last summer, the river bank was unstable and a "perfect storm" for slides.

"We're talking the beginning of the freshet, this is the first big fresh splash we've had this year," he said.

He said no structures have been damaged by slides, but says he expects some properties to be impacted by rising waters.

"Along the Nicola River now there's going to be a new landscape because you can see the banks eroding away as we speak," he said.

He described the river near his home, just outside Spences Bridge on Highway 8, as "carving" out the lower parts of the banks. Heavy rainfall over the past 24 hours has made it happen fast, he said.

"Mother Nature is Mother Nature. She does what she wants to do when she wants to do it," Rice said.

"At the end of the day, we knew this was coming, and what's scary ... it's sort of at the beginning, not at the end. So it's pretty freaky."

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