Be sure to check out our main page for more: This website is where the B.C. The width of travel lanes will also be narrowed from five metres to 3.8 metres. The Coquihalla joins with the Trans-Canada Highway west of Kamloops, and they follow the same route from this point east to the bridge north across the Thompson. The 115 km section between Hope and Merritt follows earlier cattle trails (1876), the Kettle Valley Railway (1913-59) and oil and gas industry pipelines (begun 1958) through the BC Cascade Mountains, following the Coquihalla and Coldwater Rs (Coquihalla is a Halkomelem Salish name meaning "stingy"). My husband Werner Vedder was in charge of the snowshed Unfortunately he passed away in May 2003. For the 25th anniversary, the ministry issued a news release claiming the highway was completed in just two years. Up-to-date travel information can be found on Drive BC’s Twitter. What is the Highest Point on the Trans-Canada Highway? It took more than 10,000 people 20 months of continuous work to open Phase 1 of the Coquihalla, on May 16, 1986. So, there you have it. Thanks for your comment. If you have a question or comment about this or any of the other work we do, let us know in the comments below. Restaurants and shopping nearby, close to downtown and the University College of the Cariboo. From Friday at 8 am to Sunday at 8 pm, an additional counterflow will be in place. Thanks. Nestled in deep wilderness at the base of the Cascade Mountains, the pretty little town of Hope sits on a wide sweeping curve of the mighty Fraser River, guarding the entrance to the Fraser River Canyon. Water isn’t the only thing that meets here; the Trans-Canada, the Yellowhead and Highway 97 all meet in Kamloops, as do the two national rail lines, CP and CN. Many of the men and women who worked on this historic project have moved on to new adventures; however, some still work for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Situated in southwestern BC, the Coquihalla (part of BC Highway 5) was completed in three phases. Joe Valentinuzzi: I was hired to work on the Coquihalla Project in 1981, as the Geo-technical Project Engineer. Design of the Coquihalla Highway began with exploration of the proposed route in 1973, followed by an official survey in 1978 when the first construction contract was let. The Coquihalla Route was important because the two-land traffic on the Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon was reaching peak congestion. We sure do appreciate the pride you and your family must have in knowing the work your grandfather did! Once again thank you! Ron: How little technology we had. I’d like to help but I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking. Stay tuned as we shared more stories, images and videos celebrating the Coquihalla. Pictured I often think the early work is overlooked. BC Highway Webcams. 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Parks: The following parks – listed from south to north – are located along the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Kamloops, providing convenient rest stops and overnight campsites for motorhomes and self-sufficient campers (Monck and Lac Le Jeune Parks): Circle Tours: See the best of the area on Okanagan and Kootenay Rockies Circle Tour. The location of the former toll booth is 13 km (8.1 mi) north of the snow shed, passing through another interchange and the 1,244 m (4,081 ft) Coquihalla Pass. Thanks for your feedback Bryan and remember to keep that bumper sticker – they’re a collectible now! Border Delays. We had a lot of fun on Phase 1 – where else could the Ministry have its own Slo-Pitch league? The Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) travels from Hope north to Kamloops via Merritt. I still find it hard to believe that we worked through, and endured the harshness of the winter weather. Suite 3000, 421 – 7th Avenue SW, Created great friendships especially with the Ministry’s Norm Parkes sharing rides into Vancouver on our days off. ; Helmer Lake Hwy 5, 24 km north of Merritt at Helmer Interchange, looking north. Little to no email to distract from getting work done. We still talk about today. The project was the first one on the Coquihalla. The first phase of construction connected Hope to Merit (opened in 1986). The Coq = Work hard x play hard. A story for every kilometre and, we hope, a little bit more. [Get this story and more like it delivered directly to your inbox. The first phase of construction connected Hope to Merit (opened in 1986). Safe travels out there! to have this designation. Thanks for sharing this with us Paul – we love hearing these stories from the men and women who played such an important role in helping build our province! Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure shares with you what we do and why we do it. Hi Nick. Nine million tonnes of gravel (625,000 dump truck loads) were hauled. Ursula Vedder. Todd: The Coquihalla project has nothing but great memories for me. The 80 km highway between Merritt and Kamloops, with 8 bridges and 6 underpasses, opened in Sept 1987, and a 108 km section from Merritt to Kelowna opened in Oct 1990. She was working for Bridge Branch at the time, but transferred over to Construction Branch after Phase 1, for Phases 2 and 3. Het gedeelte tussen Hope en Kamloops is over een lengte van 204 kilometer uitgebouwd als een autosnelweg en staat bekend als de Coquihalla Highway. . Typing with a real arm strong manual typewriter; not even an IBM Selectric…. Computers…a ripping 286 Wang computer. The alternative was to build the Coquihalla as a 4-lane high speed shortcut through relatively empty ranching country, in a straight line between Hope and Kamloops. The surrounding Merritt Forest District supports stands of Engelmann spruce, lodgepole pine, and subalpine fir at higher elevations; Douglas fir and ponderosa pine are found on the lower benchlands. BC has declared a state of emergency. Interestingly, the current Highway 5 is not the first highway in B.C. Were you able to find more information on the company he worked for? The Coquihalla corridor also plays a vital role in our Pacific Gateway strategy by supporting the fast and efficient movement of goods between BC, the rest of Canada and the rest of the world. Merritt is the service centre for the ranch country of the Nicola Valley, and provides an excellent base for exploring the many outdoor recreational opportunities in the area.