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'Extreme winter conditions' prompt highway and bridge closures, warnings to drivers

Last Updated Jan 13, 2020 at 5:18 am PST

A car stalled on the Port Mann Bridge after heavy snowfall (Courtesy Twitter/kent_magnuson)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A blast of wild weather Sunday evening prompted closures on Highway 1 and the Coquihalla.

The province warned drivers to avoid all unnecessary travel in the Lower Mainland.

Highway 1 was closed between Chilliwack and Hope, while the Coquihalla was closed between Hope and Merritt for several hours.

The Lions Gate Bridge has reopened to traffic in the West Vancouver lane as of 11:15 p.m. TransLink has also resumed bus service on all routes that use the bridge.

The RCMP has asked NEWS 1130 to urge people to stay off the roads altogether. Police said they encountered extreme difficulties in attending to the numerous crashes that had been taking place across the Lower Mainland this evening. Authorities asked that — in particular — drivers avoid the bridge decks, as they became extremely slippery due to the snow and freezing conditions.

Callers to NEWS 1130 reported stalled and spun out cars on streets, bridges and highways throughout the region.

There were also multiple reports of crashes and vehicles in ditches.

Multiple reports from listeners said steep hills proved to be challenging for buses and cars in Burnaby and Coquitlam.

One caller reported seeing a semi seemingly knocked on its side by the sheer force of the wind in the Fraser Valley. Another reported a snowplow spun out in North Vancouver.

Plows in Vancouver were evidently experiencing difficulty.

Stay tuned for the latest traffic updates on NEWS 1130.