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Coquihalla commuters

Coquihalla commuters

Postby UhHuhYeahSure » Oct 31st, 2017, 7:26 pm

After years of trying to find gainful work in Kelowna after moving here 18 years ago, I gave up in 2006 and returned to my former profession with clients based in Vancouver. And for the past 3 years, I've commuted weekly to Vancouver, returning home for weekends.

I have a new neighbour who has just moved here from Vancouver and will be doing the same.

I'm curious to find out how many others are doing the commute.
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Re: Coquihalla commuters

Postby Dizzy1 » Nov 1st, 2017, 10:12 pm

I commute, but in the other direction and by plane.

I know a few people who do the Vancouver commute and have been for quite some time. It's not too too terribly bad but it can wear one out from time to time.
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Re: Coquihalla commuters

Postby Even Steven » Nov 2nd, 2017, 8:24 am

Doesn't' sound very good.
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Re: Coquihalla commuters

Postby vegas1500 » Nov 2nd, 2017, 9:37 am

Dizzy1 wrote:I commute, but in the other direction and by plane.

I know a few people who do the Vancouver commute and have been for quite some time. It's not too too terribly bad but it can wear one out from time to time.


Can get tough for sure. I don't commute but chose to live in AB and maintain a residence in the great city of Kelowna and spend as much time there as possible....
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Re: Coquihalla commuters

Postby Omnitheo » Nov 7th, 2017, 10:51 am

I commute this most weeks. I work out of town, and a bulk of my work has been in the Fraser valley lately.

One thing I learned recently regarding the coq, and specifically 97c, is that originally 97c was going to pass 5a, and continue on to the 256 exit along the coq. Merrit residents campaigned against this as it could hurt their tourism industry, resulting in the highway instead ending at 5a, and following it the rest of the way to Merrit (and instead connecting to the coq at 286 in a sloppy interchange).I still remember this being a slow 2 lane road. This section crawled as vehicles were stuck behind transport trucks. Eventually this was 4 laned. Still though, looking at a map you can see just how massive this detour is. Had the road been completed as intended, this could have shaved 40-50km off the trip.

Maybe with the Merrit visitor center being closed in favour of a truck stop along the connector, this is a sign that Merrit’s Tourism is less important than an efficient commute between Vancouver and the Okanagan, and we may see this stretch finished in the future.
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Re: Coquihalla commuters

Postby the truth » Nov 7th, 2017, 1:11 pm

would be nice, that's for sure
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Re: Coquihalla commuters

Postby nihiriju » Nov 7th, 2017, 8:44 pm

Omnitheo wrote:I commute this most weeks. I work out of town, and a bulk of my work has been in the Fraser valley lately.

One thing I learned recently regarding the coq, and specifically 97c, is that originally 97c was going to pass 5a, and continue on to the 256 exit along the coq. Merrit residents campaigned against this as it could hurt their tourism industry, resulting in the highway instead ending at 5a, and following it the rest of the way to Merrit (and instead connecting to the coq at 286 in a sloppy interchange).I still remember this being a slow 2 lane road. This section crawled as vehicles were stuck behind transport trucks. Eventually this was 4 laned. Still though, looking at a map you can see just how massive this detour is. Had the road been completed as intended, this could have shaved 40-50km off the trip.

Maybe with the Merrit visitor center being closed in favour of a truck stop along the connector, this is a sign that Merrit’s Tourism is less important than an efficient commute between Vancouver and the Okanagan, and we may see this stretch finished in the future.



What a dream that would be!

I would also like to see winter time safety measures improved. Half the time on those rainy black nights you cant see any road paint and simple drift across the multiple lanes navigating by the blazing lights of the speeding semis.

There are many innovative ways highway safety/ visibility could be improved.
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Re: Coquihalla commuters

Postby UhHuhYeahSure » Nov 14th, 2017, 4:20 pm

Omnitheo wrote:I commute this most weeks. I work out of town, and a bulk of my work has been in the Fraser valley lately.

One thing I learned recently regarding the coq, and specifically 97c, is that originally 97c was going to pass 5a, and continue on to the 256 exit along the coq. Merrit residents campaigned against this as it could hurt their tourism industry, resulting in the highway instead ending at 5a, and following it the rest of the way to Merrit (and instead connecting to the coq at 286 in a sloppy interchange)..


If I recall correctly, the Highways minister at the time was the Merritt MLA. The long downhill and the long uphill out of Merritt makes no sense when the alternative was available.

I often run the Kane Valley from the Coldwater interchange to Aspen Grove. Some winters the Black Pine Ranch road is plowed if there is logging.

It's 10 kms shorter but takes about 10 minutes longer being gravel and twisty. But it breaks the monotony of the "Merritt Detour"

If you want a real treat and have all day and a high clearance vehicle...Vancouver-Harrison East FSR- Nahatlatch-Boston Bar-cross the highway to Anderson River Road-Coldwater-Kane Valley-Kentucky/Aileen-Galena Creek-Chain Lake-Headwaters Lake-Silver Lake-powerline to Trepanier...8 hours and a great relief form the Coquihalla..a couple of times per year.
Last edited by UhHuhYeahSure on Nov 14th, 2017, 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Coquihalla commuters

Postby Queen K » Nov 14th, 2017, 4:29 pm

We love the Kane Valley detour, both ways. Yes, it's longer and you have to be sure to know just where to turn off coming back to Kelowna, but for sure, much nicer if one isn't in a hurry and time is not a factor.

But I've never tried it in Winter.
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Re: Coquihalla commuters

Postby UhHuhYeahSure » Nov 14th, 2017, 4:34 pm

Queen K wrote:We love the Kane Valley detour, both ways. Yes, it's longer and you have to be sure to know just where to turn off coming back to Kelowna, but for sure, much nicer if one isn't in a hurry and time is not a factor.

But I've never tried it in Winter.


Try it. It's usually plowed as a second priority but it never gets more than 8 inches snow. I've driven it in blazing sunshine, -15 and not a single track!
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Re: Coquihalla commuters

Postby Queen K » Nov 14th, 2017, 4:40 pm

I should clarify, I'm never up there in the Winter, but if life demands I make it Vancouver this Winter, I may try out my new Winter tires on it. :biggrin:
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Re: Coquihalla commuters

Postby generalposter » Nov 14th, 2017, 5:15 pm

UhHuhYeahSure wrote:
If I recall correctly, the Highways minister at the time was the Merritt MLA. The long downhill and the long uphill out of Merritt makes no sense when the alternative was available.

I often run the Kane Valley from the Coldwater interchange to Aspen Grove. Some winters the Black Pine Ranch road is plowed if there is logging.

It's 10 kms shorter but takes about 10 minutes longer being gravel and twisty. But it breaks the monotony of the "Merritt Detour"

If you want a real treat and have all day and a high clearance vehicle...Vancouver-Harrison East FSR- Nahatlatch-Boston Bar-cross the highway to Anderson River Road-Coldwater-Kane Valley-Kentucky/Aileen-Galena Creek-Chain Lake-Headwaters Lake-Silver Lake-powerline to Trepanier...8 hours and a great relief form the Coquihalla..a couple of times per year.


There is no longer access to Trepanier Rd from the Silver Lake Powerline. Otherwise it sounds like a good summer route.
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Re: Coquihalla commuters

Postby UhHuhYeahSure » Nov 14th, 2017, 5:45 pm

generalposter wrote:
UhHuhYeahSure wrote:There is no longer access to Trepanier Rd from the Silver Lake Powerline. Otherwise it sounds like a good summer route.


You need to ford the creek below the tunnel at the old bridge washout. Take a chainsaw if you are the first through at low water.
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Re: Coquihalla commuters

Postby generalposter » Nov 14th, 2017, 6:13 pm

How long since you've been through there?

Things have changed dramatically in the last year . If you are referring to the washed out bridge directly below the tunnel it is now private property and completely barricaded with boulders. In fact , you can't even get down that road to any where near the creek as it is also blockaded just below the tunnel. There is a huge home built on the flat land on the south side of Trepanier Creek where that bridge used to be. There is another way through and across but it originates way up top near Brenda and crosses the creek way up stream and close to the Lacoma Lake trail. That whole route is quad or dirt bike accessible only.
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Re: Coquihalla commuters

Postby generalposter » Nov 14th, 2017, 6:23 pm

There is a serviceable bridge across Trepanier Creek that is way downstream and directly under the power line however the that road is now gated 50 meters past the bridge. I imagine the hydro crews have a key for access in case of damage or maintenance to power lines.
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