Highway 7, Fraser Valley
We are heartened to see Highway 7 reopened from the lower mainland to Hope for essential travel and movement of goods. This allowed the opportunity for those commercial drivers stranded in Hope to transit to the Lower Mainland.
To be clear, the opening is only for essential travel and commercial vehicles.
All connections from hope to the interior of BC to the coast remain closed.
Highway 3, Hope to Princeton and points east
Hwy 3 has sustained the least amount of damage amongst the east-west corridors. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure continues to advise it will be the first route to be able to be reopened for emergency and essential goods movements only, perhaps by the end of the weekend. We fully expect that movements will be prioritized and limited, particularly in the first few days. We are working with the Ministry to inform decisions on the criteria and methodology for determining what movements will be permitted and will communicate this as soon as we become aware. We expect that in the days after reopening, goods movements will become less restrictive.
As Highway 3 and Highway 7 open, it is critical that carriers ensure their drivers are well stocked on supplies, fuel and chains to transport these roads which is expected to be very slow moving with multiple stoppages to allow for movement of emergency vehicles.
Highway 1, Malahat/Island Highway
Repairs to Highway 1 at Tunnel Hill on the Malahat have progressed well, and no further overnight closures are needed. Repairs will continue through the weekend. While work is underway, drivers can expect single-lane alternating traffic with some intermittent closures to assist bulk fuel movements and emergency services through the site. It is anticipated that repairs should be completed by end of day Monday, Nov. 22, when two-way traffic may resume.
Highway 1 on Vancouver Island North of Westshore Parkway and South of Bamberton has been restricted to 2.6 m overall width. This restriction is in place to allow emergency repair work on this stretch of the road.
Questions regarding oversize loads should be directed to [email protected]
Hours of Service Exemption
For those assisting with transportation related to flood relief who have concerns about Hours of Service requirements, BCTA has confirmed with Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) that the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations (MVAR) allow for an exemption for drivers in this case. At the beginning of Part 3 – Hours of Service, MVAR 37.11(d) states:
“This Part does not apply to a driver who is driving a commercial motor vehicle transporting passengers or goods for the purpose of providing relief in the case of an earthquake, flood, fire, famine, drought, epidemic, pestilence or other disaster.”
CVSE still expects that there is a responsibility under MVAR 37.12 for both carriers and drivers assisting in this emergency to ensure that the drivers do not operate while impaired by fatigue to a point that it is unsafe for them to operate their vehicles.
Also, regarding trip inspections, MVAR 37.22 (5) states:
“If a commercial motor vehicle’s first trip of the day is to provide relief from earthquake, flood, fire, famine, drought, epidemic, pestilence or other disaster by transporting passengers or goods, the inspection required by subsection (2) shall be carried out before the commercial motor vehicle’s first trip that is not for that purpose.”
Please note that this HOS exemption is only for carriers/drivers operating in the province of BC and does not apply to driver HOS in the US or other jurisdictions. Carriers and drivers must be complaint with HOS in the jurisdiction they operate in.
Significant work on developing effective protocols to permit in-transit movements continues. BCTA continues to stress at every interaction with both Federal and Provincial government representatives that this must be the first-priority for decision making, and that the exemption / protocol must be broad and meaningful to be effective. The Canadian Trucking Alliance has been heavily engaged on this issue, and we thank them for their assistance. We continue to await a decision and anticipate an announcement in the coming days.
We are acutely aware of the impact of this issue on all carriers and drivers and are advancing it as forcefully and frequently as possible. We will communicate any announcement as soon as possible after it is made.
Rail traffic through the Fraser Canyon remains interrupted and there is no ETA for providing an estimate of when service will resume.
*As per our previous update, the best resource for real time specifics will always be Drive BC ( www.drivebc.ca ). We will NOT be providing notice of real-time highway conditions as the provincial government is best positioned to do this.
Please DO NOT “read between the lines.” As always, we will pass along what we know and tell you what we do not. Simply because we do not know does not mean it’s “bad,” or “terrible,” or otherwise. We just do not know.