Parks Canada’s decision to close sections of the Trans-Canada Highway, Highway 93 South and the Icefields Parkway was necessary to protect motorists from avalanche hazards and to allow for avalanche-control work.
“We have experienced exceptional weather and there have been very dangerous avalanche conditions over the last 72 hours,” Parks spokeswoman Jacolyn Daniluck said in a statement Monday. “This has been considered a 30-year weather event, the ‘perfect storm’ for big avalanches. The main storm is expected to be over and we are now in clean-up mode.”
Avalanche control in Glacier National Park concluded at 3 am this morning and Parks workers are currently doing clean up and preparing the Trans-Canada Highway in Glacier National Park for opening. That will be coordinated with the BC Ministry of Transportation (MOT) which is undertaking its own avalanche control for the section of the highway from Revelstoke to the Glacier West boundary. The highway is expected to open later today (January 17). For current up-to-date incormation, the MOT media-update web page is up and can be linked on www.drivebc.ca..
Avalanche areas that threaten the Kicking Horse Canyon have not been controlled yet due to extreme conditions. Current estimate for opening the Kicking Horse Canyon is late Tuesday. For more information please refer to www.drivebc.ca..
“We recognize the inconvenience of the highway closure for motorists, but our first priority is and was motorist and worker safety,” Daniluck said. “Parks Canada employs highly trained professionals who work 24-7 doing avalanche control and road maintenance. Our goal is to re-open the roads in a timely and safe manner and we thank everyone for their patience.”