BC FLOODS: Industry Updates and Resources

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*LAST UPDATED: January 10, 2022

Please remember that the best resource for real-time highway conditions will always be DriveBC.ca, as the provincial government is best positioned to do this.

Highway 5

The Coquihalla highway has reopened between Hope and Merritt to commercial vehicles and inter-city buses ONLY:

  • Route is available to commercial vehicles with a minimum licensed gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 11,794 kilograms
  • Expect significantly increased travel time. Sections of the highway will be one lane in each direction
  • Reduced speed limits. The maximum anywhere on the corridor will be no greater than 100km/h. Many sections will be limited to 60km/h
  • Increased frequency of implementation of chain up requirements. The Ministry will err on the side of caution and put chain up requirements more frequently in place in advance of weather events. Commercial vehicles without chains may be turned around and not permitted to proceed, regardless if there is an active chain up in place at the time they enter the corridor. The message to carry chains and make sure drivers know how to install them cannot be overstated
  • When chains are required for use, enforcement staff will enforce to ensure that drivers install chains as required by BC regulation. Trucks that do not have chains installed per regulatory requirements will be turned around
  • There will be limited electrical power on the route. Tunnels will have lighting powered by emergency generators
  • Rest stops will not have fully functioning washrooms, but portable facilities will be provided
  • Oversized loads are restricted: click here for the CVSE notice re: oversize permit restrictions for Hwy 5 between Hope & Merritt

The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has provided a map of Highway 5 highlighting conditions to be aware of, including rest areas, brake checks, chain up areas, and steep grades. 

Highway 3 Conditions

Hwy 3, between Hope and Princeton, is now open to the general public. The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has provided an updated map of Highway 3 highlighting conditions to be aware of.

RCMP and CVSE have indicated that there will be zero tolerance applied so ensure that all drivers are aware of Highway 3 conditions including posted speed limits and curve advisory limits, and that all commercial vehicles are carrying chains. Before any trip, plan and prepare ahead— conditions can change quickly so it is important to have supplies such as food and water available.

CBSA-CBP Announce Extension of Temporary In-Transit Process until March 31 to Aid with BC Flood Relief

Canadian Trucking Alliance

(TORONTO, Jan. 7, 2022) -- The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is applauding the efforts of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Transport Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for working with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials to extend the temporary in-transit process until at least March 31, 2022. The extension will continue to assist the ongoing BC flood relief efforts. More information from the agencies regarding the extension can be found here.

CTA recently requested the Government of Canada negotiate with US border representatives for the extension of the in-transit process until at least the spring of 2022 due to the devastation in the province. Although transit times into and out of the province remain much longer than normal, the use of the temporary process has been extremely helpful in minimizing delay times and keeping store shelves stocked to assist businesses and families during their time of need.

This announcement follows the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also extending its flood relief exemptions to January 31, 2022, allowing continued movement of Canadian goods through the US to bypass road closures and areas in Canada cut off by flooding and landslides.

Carriers operating into BC are reporting that many roadways are currently handling much more commercial traffic and volume than normal. This will be further compounded by the potential for harsher winter weather conditions, which could be a challenge for drivers that are unfamiliar with B.C. roadways. The BC Trucking Association (BCTA) continues to work with CTA and the provincial associations by distributing information that would help prepare drivers entering B.C for these conditions.

“CTA again commends the unwavering support and cooperation by Minister Mendicino, Minister Alghabra, Minister Duclos and the staff at both CBSA, Transport Canada and CFIA throughout this crisis,” says Lak Shoan, Director of Policy and Industry Awareness Programs for CTA. “The combined efforts of the trucking industry, truck drivers and officials on both sides of the border continue to be a symbol of our sector and Ottawa’s commitment to working together during challenging times.”

CTA will continue to provide updates on the in-transit process, FMCSA exemptions and BC relief efforts in the coming weeks.

 

FMCSA Extends BC Flood Relief Exemptions to Jan 31; CTA Continues Discussions on Temporary In-Transits

Canadian Trucking Alliance

(TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2021) -- The US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended its original Regional Emergency Declaration issued November 24 until January 31 2022, allowing continued movement of Canadian goods through the US to bypass road closures and areas in Canada cut off by flooding and landslides. The original declaration was set to expire on December 23, 2021.

The FMCSA declaration provides an exemption from certain regulatory requirements in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety (FMCSRs) and is limited to Canadian motor carriers and drivers providing emergency services or transporting essential goods, supplies and equipment from Canada to other points in Canada through to bypass road closures and areas in Canada cut off by flooding and landslides.

Key highlights of the regulatory relief provided by FMCSA include:

  • The ability for Canadian trucking companies and drivers (holding class 1, 2 and 3 licences) to operate from Canada to other points in Canada through the United States without a US DOT number, provided they hold a valid National Safety Code (NSC) certificate number issued by the appropriate authority in the base jurisdiction and a proof of registration in Canada have not been assigned a Conditional or Unsatisfactory safety rating by their base jurisdiction.
  • That FMCSA will not enforce specific parts of the Drug and Alcohol Testing Regime and Clearing House.

Carriers are encouraged to carefully review the full details of the FMCSA declaration and the Notice of Enforcement Discretion to determine and its suitability to their operations.

For full details of the Regional Emergency Declaration click here and the Notice of Enforcement Discretion click here.

This declaration complements changes made to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) temporary in-transit program to allow additional options for Canadian carriers and drivers to maintain key supply chain links to British Columbia and Western Canada, which was recently extended until January 8, 2022.

CTA continues to work with both Canadian and US authorities to ensure the temporary in-transit pilot remains in place as a long as is necessary to ensure the timely and safe movement of critical goods into BC to aid in the ongoing relief efforts.

Not included in the regulatory relief were considerations for domestic Canadian Weights and Dimensions to be allowed during in-transit movements, however CTA has prepared a document to serve as a basic guide to assist carriers in this area. Please click here: CTA-US Routing Weight Options_public

CTA will continue to monitor the rollout of the declaration and provide updates to the membership, as necessary.

CTA would like to thank the Government of Canada for championing this issue with U.S. authorities and their continued support for the trucking industry.

 

Government of BC Resources:

The Service BC Flood Response Info line is (toll-free): 1-833-376-2452

For a list of Essential Purposes for travel and routes to which the order applies, see: www.gov.bc.ca/floodresponse

For updated road conditions, go to: www.DriveBC.ca

For information on winter tire and chain regulations:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/driving-and-cycling/traveller-information/seasonal/winter-driving

For winter driving tips, visit: www.shiftintowinter.ca

Tire and chain regulations in BC

Government of BC’s tire and chain regulations, which mandate placement of chains based on vehicle configuration, can be found here.

Drivers must obey winter tire and chain signs throughout the province from October 1 to April 30. For select highways not located through mountain passes and/or high snowfall areas, tire and chain requirements end March 31.

City of Abbotsford Truck Route Detour

With Highway 11 closed to all traffic between Downes Road and McCallum Road, the City of Abbotsford is advising heavy truck drivers to use Mt. Lehman Road and Harris Road as the alternate temporary truck route.

Please have drivers refrain from using Gladwin Road as intersections along this route are not wide enough for truck turning movements at intersections and traffic backups are occurring.

This temporary truck route is preferred for both entry and exit purposes to the City from the east for the foreseeable future.

A map of this detour can be found on the City Abbotsford’s site here.

Federal EI Relief

The Government of Canada has approved a Request for Federal Assistance from the Province of British Columbia to help with their response to extreme flooding in the province.

The impact of the flooding is widespread, including in multiple Indigenous communities, and the emergency response is complex, requiring cooperation across all layers of government.

In recognition of the significant, immediate challenges, the federal government is waiving normal EI rules for those directly impacted by the flood, including those that normally would not qualify for EI.

This include waiving the requirement to show a record of employment, recognizing that it may be difficult for many to obtain proper documentation under the circumstances.

Details on the federal financial relief program can be found here.

Supporting Relief Efforts

If you have commercial drivers, and/or power units that are available to provide support to other carriers that are supporting relief efforts, please email us.

In your email, please advise the following:

  • What resources are available (e.g., # of commercial class 1 drivers and/or power units)
  • Where the resources are currently located
  • What the resources are available for (e.g., local transportation only/160km from home terminal, provincial long haul only, Canada long haul, Canada/US long haul).

Hours of Service- Provincial and Federal Exemptions

For the latest update regarding Hours of Service regulations during the Provincial State of Emergency declared on November 17, 2021, please click here.